Sunday, May 31, 2009

BMTC Diaries: Burning sensation

These days I have reduced my frequency of travel in bus and rely on company transport. But I had and still keep having many experiences and thoughts on which I probably will write. I have this bad habit (one of the many I have) of postponing things with an intention of fine-tuning it a bit. This applies to my updating the blog also. So you may see very less updates of the blog. Somehow have to get over that. Any suggestions/tips/tricks?
Honk! I was woken up in my bus on the way to office. The bus was at a junction and I had dozed off peacefully after boarding as the bus was almost empty and I had got a comfortable seat. Cool and fresh Bangalore breeze had made me slip off into the ‘nirvana’ state soon.

This honk came from a car driver who, I think, wanted to move ahead without waiting for the signal to turn Green. I was looking around and it was a big junction on Residency road. There were about 10-12 two-wheelers, 4-5 cars, 3 buses, 4-5 auto-rickshaws at the junction. Some of them were honking impatiently as if those honking will make the signal change quickly. Two things stuck me.

All this impatience is of no use. You leave this signal at the speed of a rocket, just to reach the next signal first. You will reach the next signal to only greet all those slow starters from the previous signal who will slowly come and stand beside you in this signal or junction. So no point racing ahead when you see ‘Green’.

Second point was a bit statistical which will require some data backing to it. I could see around 25 vehicles at a signal to one-side, so around 75 still vehicles at any given point (25 x 3, assuming one signal is green and vehicles at that side is moving.) My wild guesstimate tells me there would be minimum 100 such signals in Bangalore. So total 100 x 75 = 7500 vehicles at a peak hour which are still but the engine are ‘On’.

Later on I did a simple calculation as below based on the following assumptions:
10 cars and 30 2-wheelers at a junction, including 3 roads.
100 junctions in Bangalore alone
10 hours per day when signal is active
Car gets a 12 km per liter and 2-wheeler gets 60 km.

Going by the above, an amount between 30 to 40 Lakhs PER DAY is burnt together by people in Bangalore waiting a signal. This is just the story of Bangalore. Assume there are 10 other cities in India with same 100 or more signals and above assumptions. A clean 3 to 4 Crores per day? And add other cities in India with tweaking the assumptions a bit. I am sure not less than 5 Crores PER DAY (around 1500 Crores PER YEAR) is spent at traffic signals by burning fuel. So imagine the savings if you just switch off the engine for 1 minute at a signal.

This thought was alarming to me. How much money & fuel (a non-renewable source of energy) can be saved by just a small twist of our hand. Amazing as well as alarming. I always used to switch off the engine of my car or bike at a junction due to selfish reason, to save my money. But now realizing the bigger picture, I urge each one of you to practice this to save Earth.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Believe it or not !!!

There are 2 types of people in this world. First, who knows about a particular thing. Second, who believes about the same thing.

Tune to Class VIII B. Teacher, who has a spiritual inclination, was taking a new chapter and at some point asked, “How many of you believe in God?” All, except this particular child, raised their hand.

Surprised at this the teacher asked this child, “Why? You don’t believe in God?” The child replies, “No. I know God. I don’t need to believe in God.” The child continues, “Ma’am, I don’t need to believe that you are standing in front of me. I know that you are in front of me.”

We believe in something which we don’t know, or which we are not sure of. We don’t believe in something that we know. I have to believe that there is Grand Canyon or Niagara falls because I have not seen them. (Of course I may be convinced that they are there, but then too there is some degree of uncertainty)

At the same time I do not need to believe that there is Taj Mahal, or that you, the reader, exist. I know that its there.

Another school of thought: Whether we believe in something or know something, things are there as they are. We believing it or knowing it does not change it anything. For our own comfort and convenience we either know it, believe it or disbelieve it. The fact does not change, it remains.