I first met Meghna Dundi as she was preparing to represent India at the Karaoke World Championship (KWC) to be held in Finland (2012). We met up for a coffee, where I was scheduled to interview her. The best part? It felt less like work and more like two friends hanging out. Even though we never hung out after that day, we are still friends, and I am so proud of how far her career has come and how she is immensely respected as an artiste back home in India. With a heart as beautiful as hers, she deserves it all and much, much more.
Q1. Which moment in your career would you describe as the ‘break out’ moment?
Every gig has been so different and I constantly learn something new with every passing one with regards to the people I sing to and an understanding of my own voice. We’ve (my band: Meghna Dundi Trio) has had some unforgettable shows, where we’d see throngs of people completely in-sync with us and feeding off every note they’d hear, to when we’d be performing to a seemingly disinterested audience that couldn’t care any less. The only constant thing throughout it all was the energy from the music which would consume us enough to keep us at a safe distance from where we could enjoy what we’re doing without being affected by our environment.
My journey so far has nothing at all to do with luck but instead, it has been about finding an opportunity, right or wrong… I’m the kind of person who will make it work.
Q2. Your love for animals and how deep does it run?
I’m fortunate to be born in a household of good people who don’t hesitate to put the needs of an animal before themselves. For years now, my family has actively taken care of several stray dogs in the area that we live in. Every night my brother feeds many of them a home-cooked meal and he’s even adopted a few. An amazing fact: When I get back home from a show at around 2 am, I have to park my car a street away from home. Every time, a pack of 4-5 of our street dogs run up to my car, and get into a protective formation around me and safely walk me to the gate. It’s quite a spectacular sight and I feel so safe when they’re with me. Really stunning to see how dogs (or animals, in general) are capable of showing such gratitude when treated with love and respect.
Q3. Now coming to your dietary choices. Considering your love for animals, have you been attacked for being a non-vegetarian?
HAHA yes, several times actually! Some vegans/vegetarians can be vicious with excited sermons about the hypocrisy i.e. how can you be a “meat-eating animal lover”? I remember being quite taken aback that I was being attacked for my dietary choices specifically because I had dogs.
It felt like it was a targeted attack that was eagerly waiting to be dished out to the nearest non-vegetarian and I wondered if I should start keeping an eye out for any well-fed vegetarian lurking in the shadows waiting to ambush me with flawed morality and a basket of fresh greens at the drop of a pin, which in-turn led to me questioning my authenticity as a good dog-loving human being, who could (on better days) proudly devour a full bird over one sitting.
After giving it plenty of thought, believe it or not, I began to empathize with the claim and also understood that anybody who uses someone’s “food habits” as a weapon to strike them is just desperate for any version of a victory and must be laughed at.
That being said, whether someone is a vegetarian, a non-vegetarian or he/she lives on love and fresh air, it is important to eat balanced and nutritious meals. I learned by taking the advice of people who have improved their lives by eating clean foods and staying away from fast food demons such as KFC and McDonalds.
Q4. Is it difficult being a female musician? Do you think guys have it easier?
I don’t think anybody has it easier unless they have someone somewhere constantly pulling strings to work in their favor; but even then, if the quality of the music isn’t good they will not survive.
Q5. What has been the best advice you have got in your life?
I’ve been blessed with wonderful people in my life; family, friends and even a few mere acquaintances who have managed to enlighten me, so I’ve received a lot of wonderful advice that has helped me with what I do and what I’m capable of becoming. One of which, always the first to pop up, is an Urdu saying, “Niyat saaf toh rasta saaf” which loosely translates to: “If your intentions are pure (clean, clear), so shall your path be clear”. The mere simplicity of this saying continues to keep my feet grounded and my chin up because I sometimes spiral into a mode of concern over my future as a musician and it reminds me that all is achievable with small changes in attitude and the will to achieve.
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.