Meet my new neighborhood

OK, I expected Mumbai to be noisy...but not quite to the extent that I'm experiencing now.

View from my apartment
Santacruz is my home for next nine month. As I sit in my apartment on the fifth floor, with nice breeze coming in, I look down rikshaws constantly coming and going on the street, and I look up airplanes flying high into the sky from the airport nearby.

Well, let's add the sound effects here. 

It means I am sandwitched by roaring aircrafts and honking rikshaws continuously from 6 am to 3 am, if not 24 hours. To make best use of the environment, every morning before I leave for work, I decided to do voice training. However loud I become, I'm pretty sure I will not disturb any neighbors because I hardly hear hearing my own voice!

Despite the sound effects, I do love my neighborhood. 

The streets are filled with vegetable and fruits vendors. I buy tomato from this person, garlic from next, potato from next, and cauliflower and cabbage from yet next person. There's a buffalo milk shop nearby, too. The same man is always standing in front of a huge barrel of milk. Every other day, I stop by and ask him to give me a smallest scoop of milk. He silently nods, pours fresh milk into a tiny plastic bag, ties it very tightly, and hands it over to me with a smile.

Home-cooked food
from my neighbor
I don't know if it happens all over Mumbai, or all over India, but at least in my neighborhood, people are very open, frank, honest, and helpful. It does not matter if they speak English or not. In my building, families leave their doors open. So whenever I pass by, they say hi or wave hand and smile. In a shop, a lady customer, not a shop keeper, recommends me different brands of soaps to try. In a milk shop, another old lady customer told me to get curd, not milk, and make lassi at home. (I actually followed her advice and it was really good!)

In a big city, at least in Tokyo where I am from, people tend to be indifferent to one another. Some people try to take advantage of foreigners, or even those from the countryside in the same country. Those were the experiences I had in the past, which made me a little defensive this time, too. To my pleasant surprise, Mumbai has overthrown my presumption so far. I am curious how this metropolitan city can also keep local flavors. 

And my everyday adventure continues…


Be The Last One To Define You

Today, my first ever guest post came on line at Rising Pyramid!

It is a reflection of one of the training sessions I had in New York.

Please take a look!!


Dear Mumbai .... and farewell to New York

On the last day of our NY training, ten of us - Acumen Fellows class of 2011 - read a letter to our respective placement city at the Acumen's annual Investors Gathering. (In my case, the letter starts with "Dear Mumbai ...")

For weeks, we worked on writing a letter - wrote one, read, scrap, wrote again... I'm sure each of us had at least 10 versions of the letter. We read our letter to each other, and shared feelings and feedback over and over again. These are the letters coming from the deepest place of our hearts.

On the stage, as I was listening for the last time to everyone else, I could not help but feel honored to be part of the group. What incredible individuals my fellow Fellows are!!

We spent everyday together for last 8 weeks, sharing deepest feelings which I myself have forgotten that I had. We come from very different places and experiences, yet we share so much passion, feelings, fears, and love.

Now, alone in Mumbai, I miss my 9 siblings (!?) and at the same time feel empowered as I think we are all in the process of exploring a new place and new work.

With all the gratitude to the Acumen community, friends, and Fellows!




遠くハドソンリバーまで見渡せる眺めのよい会議室で、こうしてBill Mayerとの対話が始まりました。

Bill Mayerはリーダーシップ養成講座で名高いアスペン研究所の名誉会長であり、アキュメンファンドのボードメンバーでもあります。金融機関のトップから、ビジネススクールの学長まで、複数の組織でリーダーを務めた彼がどのような「リーダーシップ論」を展開するのか、フェロー一同固唾を飲んで次の言葉を待ちます。


彼の場合は、「to figure things out by myself」、それはつまりある物事・課題をどう解くか自分で判断することであり、それが意思決定者としてのリーダーの役割にうまく合致したのだろうといいます。