Wife and husband duo, Surabhi Tandon and Suryakant Sawhney, have fittingly called their company ‘Miya Biwi’ (husband and wife in Urdu). Their work, much like their relationship, is a representation of the way they view the world.
A year after marriage, Surabhi and Suryakant decided to take another bold leap into shaping their future together by also starting a company with one another. To commemorate this special occasion, and the completion of their first project as personal and professional partners, Suryakant gifted Surabhi this diamond necklace that used to belong to his mother. He had been waiting for a special occasion to celebrate and commemorate their love and as Suryakant put it, “We had promised to see each other through thick and thin. And diamonds seemed like a perfect metaphor for the strength and resilience it takes to stay partners in life.”
Here’s to a future that never fades!
How did you both meet?
Surabhi Tandon (ST) – We met briefly through a common friend and then bumped into each other at a party within the same week where we ended up spending the whole evening together. But it took us many months of companionship before we realized we were already in love.
Suryakant Sawhney (SS) – It’s kind of hilarious to look back at that time and realize how clueless we were about how we felt about each other. But well, it clearly worked so I don’t have any regrets.
What was your first impression about your partner?
ST I found his general appearance a bit disturbing to be honest. He had disheveled hair, slippers, and an out of control beard.
SS She had really long, beautiful hair that caught my attention. And a mischievous vibe that drew me to her.
When did you realize you want to spend the rest of your lives together?
SS I personally had this realization when we were on vacation. We had already been living together by then, but it was spending that time with her outside of where we resided that made me sure that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
ST The idea of eternity is difficult to comprehend, but I knew that I loved him in a way that I had not felt before. Being with Suryakant felt like I had arrived home somehow, and that is a feeling worth exploring for however long it stays.
“The idea of eternity is difficult to comprehend, but I knew that I loved him in a way that I had not felt before.”
Do you believe that your relationship has grown/matured with time?
ST I do. Looking back, it’s amazing to see where we started and how far we’ve come.
What does a day in the life of Miya Biwi look like?
ST Our home is both, a place of work and rest. So, we’ve assigned different spaces different tasks. We usually work from our desks, which are in different rooms, so we are not in each other’s space all the time. But we do spend a lot of time together especially by our books in the living room or in the balcony from where we can enjoy the blue skies and feel closer to nature despite living in a city.
SS We have everything we need for work at home. Whether that’s making / recording music, or filming, and editing. When we are not working for clients, we always try and create little visual projects of our own. For me, this is both creatively fulfilling and also very romantic and intimate.
You both are constantly shooting videos of other people through your work. Tell us about making this video with just each other.
ST Well, the idea to set up Miya Biwi was always to work on a range of different kinds of projects. To dabble in fiction and non-fiction simultaneously. It worked out that Suryakant and I have skill sets that complement the process of filmmaking together, so more and more, we have started to experiment with making films with just each other. A lot of these experiments enable us to explore different facets of our personalities, and our relationship.
SS Well, I’m also a professional musician, but I can’t dance to save my life. Meanwhile, Surabhi’s true love is dance. Luckily, it worked out that I could play and sing to her, while she dances to my tunes (pun intended). We love doing that with each other actually. So for this video, we thought it would be perfect to film that slice of our life along with the diamond necklace which is a reminder to me of our journey on this planet together.
“Diamonds seemed like a perfect metaphor for the strength and resilience it takes to stay partners in life.”
What makes this necklace special?
ST Traditionally, marriage or proposals are some of the most classic occasions for gifting diamonds, but I think one can mark any truly special experience and immortalize it with this precious stone. We both believe in gifting each other experiences over material objects. But the fact that these diamonds belonged to my mother-in-law and have a history and story that they carry with them already made them incredibly special to start with. But to top that, Suryakant chose to gift them to me out of the blue. He never does that! I was so genuinely surprised. And to top even that! (she grins) He did it to mark our professional achievements together rather than a more classical occasion which made it that much more incredible. While it’s not very often, when he does it get it right – it truly is perfect.
What do natural diamonds mean to you?
SS For me, the intrinsic value of the stone lies in its history; the knowledge that it was forged in the interiors of our planet is a powerful idea, one that makes you feel connected to something larger than yourself.
ST It is indeed a miracle of nature. It’s incredible in a way, to imagine yourself wearing something so ancient and still so beautiful. It’s a cliché, but diamonds really are timeless.
Is it easy to keep up the romance when you’re also business partners?
SS As Surabhi said, we try and ensure that working creatively is in itself a romantic adventure. There can never be clear divisions between work and play when you’re involved in those matters together, so the way we’ve worked that out is to make sure we are always innovating with each other and learning from one another. We have our share of disagreements of course, but if the foundation of your relationship is solid, then it stays resilient.
A natural diamond retains eternal sparkle. How do you retain the glow of your relationship?
SS We never allow it to settle down, what we are is a constantly shifting idea, and that’s how why we don’t get bored of it.