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R&L Editor Megumi D’Souza Takes Us Through Her Fun-Filled Life in Mumbai – Juggling Work, Gigs and R&L

Another exciting post as we introduce yet another team member today. Our friend Megumi – a “halfu” with an Indian dad and a Japanese mom, is currently helping our team as an editor – sitting out of Mumbai. A multi-talented creative personality, she juggles her time between a full-time job, gigs (she sings in a band) and R&L commitments.

We are indeed one of the luckiest teams to be constantly surrounded by like-minded passionate individuals – each bringing in their unique set of contributions, making Roots and Leisure a true example of how diversity can be an engine of creativity. Having said all that, let’s go on to get to know her more 🙂

For this edition of R&L’s #FaceReveal, we introduce you to Megumi Dsouza – our editor from Mumbai. A powerhouse of energy, she breathes a fresh whiff of creativity to the R&L team, and today she gives us a glimpse into her life as she shares a slice from her fun-filled daily schedules.

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Megumi Dsouza – R&L Editor from Mumbai. Photograph by Frozen Pixel Studios.

  • Hello Megumi, please introduce yourself to our readers. Tell us what you do, and a little bit about your family and your interesting roots.

I’m half Japanese and half Indian, 29 years old, born and raised in New Delhi. My father’s family is from Mangalore but he’s mostly grown up in Delhi too. I currently work as a Creative Fashion Writer at a gaming app company in Mumbai.

Meg on a Night Out in Delhi with Mum (3rd from Right) and Dad (2nd from Left – back) and Family

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Megumi on a Night Out in Delhi with Mum (3rd from Right) and Dad (2nd from Left – back) and Family

Meg with her mum & grandmother in Osaka, Japan in 2016

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Meg with her mum & grandmother in Osaka, Japan in 2016

I’m a happy consumer of most Western Entertainment, so whether it’s movies, TV, fashion, music and even board games, if it’s good and talked about, I’d probably want to ‘consume’ it. I’m an only child but consider myself very lucky to have a handful of cousins from my Dad’s side that I’m very close to. I would say I’ve lived a rather protected and very interesting life thanks to my Indian Dad and my Japanese mother who has always done everything to make sure I was happy and healthy. They along with my cousins and my godparents are my pillars of strength and inspiration.

“My mum’s side of the family is entirely based in Osaka, Japan so I keep going back there every year or so to visit. It was only till I was older that I realized what a privilege that is – I get to enjoy two amazingly unique cultures and have a beautiful and mixed up experience of my own.”

Even though on paper, this may seem like a weird match, it’s all worked really well I feel. You’d be surprised to know how similar both these cultures are in many small and unexpected little ways. I get my love for music and food, meat and rice in particular from both sides.

  • Tell us about your love for music and your gig life.

My main work background is in the music and events field which pretty much, started off, is and has always been my hobby. I’m happy to say that all my cousins and I have got some musical streak in us so that’s something we always connect with, no matter what our age or distance. I don’t particularly prefer any genre. My favorite artists range from Paramore to Mastodon and Tool, to Incubus and Weezer, to Sting and Justin Timberlake, to Eminem and Anderson Paak and Kelly Clarkson… The list really is endless.

“My main passion is music. I’ve grown up with it around me always – my mum and her brother are ace piano players and choir singers and almost all of my Dad’s family play at least one instrument.”

I’ve learned classical piano and drums when I was younger, played in my school band and sung in choirs. I got turned on to rock music thanks to my Dad and to heavy metal and other genres thanks to my cousins and friends. They’re the reason I love geeking out about random music and entertainment facts as well. I openly really enjoy being a fan of musicians, their songs, movies and actors, fashion and designers and even celebrity cooks and cuisines.

Meg and her band “The Underknowns” performing on stage

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Meg and her band “The Underknowns” performing on stage

“In my first year of college at St. Stephen’s (New Delhi) I joined a band called Lazy River. I was the lead singer and between 2007 – 2011 we played in almost all the venues and bars that existed in the capital at the time. I really loved those years and my bandmates – Jeffrey Laloo, Chaitanya Bhalla, and Farid Singh are still actively playing music. They are some of my closest buddies even though we’re spread all across the country now.”

Meg with her college mates at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi in 2010

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Meg with her college mates at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi in 2010

Meg D’Souza and performing with her band, “Lazy River” in 2009.

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Meg D’Souza and performing with her band, “Lazy River”in 2009.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve got the chance to work in almost all sides of the ‘independent music scene’ – on stage, off stage and side stage – working at some of my favourite festivals in the country (Nh7 Weekender Delhi, Sula Fest, Ziro Festival of Music, Shirock Festival), as a performer (with my bands Lazy River and The Underknowns and as a backup singer for Delhi rockers, Faridkot), as a venue and events programmer with the chain of restaurants Social and antiSOCIAL in New Delhi AND as a music writer too!

Meg with pals during her 5-week Summer Program at Berklee College of Music in 2010

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Meg with pals during her 5-week Summer Program at Berklee College of Music in 2010

  • So tell us more about your work and life in the City of #Mumbai.

I moved to Mumbai in April 2017 when my old employers at MissMalini – where I was a Fashion and Lifestyle writer and Social Media Manager at the time, offered me a new position and an exciting project. Though I don’t work there anymore, I’m glad I made the move here, to ‘adult’, be independent and see if I can take care of myself.

“Mumbai is such a fast-paced city and even for someone who, in general, is rather energetic like me, it can take some time to get used to. It’s not easy and there’s some new curveball thrown at you every day but I’m lucky to have a solid support system here… some of my closest friends from school, college and my previous workplaces happen to be from here or have settled here.”

Meg with her friends – Aditi Ramesh (center) and bandmates after a performance at The Quarter, Mumbai this year.

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Meg with her friends – Aditi Ramesh (center) and bandmates after a performance at The Quarter, Mumbai this year.

For the first half of this year, I was freelancing and working at festivals, pop-up fashion events, singing with friends and managing a couple of social media handles. I realized that the uncertainty that comes with freelancing was making me very anxious and that I needed a stable job to keep up with Mumbai life because rent is not cheap here.

“I hunted and found something that I was genuinely interested in and joined this new company – a gaming app company – about 3 weeks ago. I’m really enjoying it for now – the people are great, the work is nice, the environment is supportive and so far it’s allowed me to successfully juggle R&L on the side!”

As for my living situation, I’m thankful to share a comfortable flat with two cute cats, Bean and Marvin and a good friend who I’ve adopted as my older brother now! :p

  • How do you manage working with R&L and your work, and other activities?

That’s a great question! I’m still figuring out the optimal way to juggle everything and I’m not completely sure how long it will take me to find it! But I try to be organized about my time as much as I can and try my hardest to plan ahead.

“Sometimes it works out according to my planned schedule, and sometimes it doesn’t which is when it gets really fun and you’ve just gotta prioritize and focus on what’s most urgent. So far I’m really enjoying adapting to this workflow and plan to continue juggling work, life and R&L for the rest of the year at least.”

Meg catching up on her freelance work on a Sunday with her cat, Marvin.

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Meg catching up on her freelance work on a Sunday with her cat, Marvin.

  • Run us through a typical day in your life.

I usually spend my weekends editing all the R&L blogs for the week on Saturday and Sunday and try to catch up on sleep and TV shows on the weekends. Here’s how a typical work week looks like for me:

  • 7:30- 8:00 am: Wake up, do my daily workout of some light yoga and stretches
  • 8: 00 – 9:00 am: Make and Eat Breakfast. I make myself a cup of freshly ground coffee, eat a breakfast of oatmeal or eggs and toast. Get ready
  • 9:10 am: Leave for my day job
  • 10:00 am to 6:30 pm: Work in the office and take short breaks through the day to put up the daily social media posts for R&L
  • 8:00 pm: Reach home and eat dinner. I’m home from work by 8 pm usually which is when I try and refresh, bathe and eat dinner.
  • 9:30 -11:00 pm: If there’s any pending freelance work I try to complete it all by 11 pm
  • 11:00 pm: Watch some TV shows
  • 1:00 am: Go to bed by 1 am latest and repeat this whole cycle.

I try to be flexible and not too uptight though because you never know when something happens to spin all this out of whack. I just deal with it, as we all do, when that happens. When I have the energy or less or no freelance work, I try and meet my friends over dinner or a movie or board games.

  • What are your future plans? How is your work with R&L aligned to your interests/career goals?

I hope to keep creating and always be inspired. I’ve never been super ambitious and I’m not the type to limit myself from trying out new things and experiences. For the moment I’m enjoying working in digital media and creating content.

“I love working with like-minded people who are creative and have a sense of humour. The team at R&L is great and super genuine. Through the years I’ve got the chance to meet and work with so many interesting people, in all sorts of different capacities and I love to showcase their work. I really like that I get to explore a whole new pool of talent and personalities through R&L too and hope to start something similar of my own in a couple of years.”

I’m happiest at a rock show and I definitely want to continue singing and working at gigs and festivals and with other artists on the side till I can find something or organize all the skills that I’m picking up to one common goal. I don’t really know what it is yet and I will keep trying to zero in on one.

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Megumi – Editor, R&L. Photograph by Akshay Sharma for Sewing New Foundations.

Catch our Meg in her element jamming with her bandmates “The Underknowns”

 

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A post shared by Megumi D’Souza // #мєℓℓσωкιтту (@meg_ds) on

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