How to Save Petrol While Driving

How to save gas and improve mileage are questions that all of us are asking in these times of ever increasing price of petrol and petroleum fuels. Taking it a step further would be to ask how we can actually benefit from the high price of fuel. Here are some tips that I have learned from the best teacher in the world on how to maximize fuel efficiency - experience. I also owe a deep debt of gratitude to my mentor in driving, Yellesh, who showed me how driving can be a life transforming exercise.



9. Drive Steady: It is universally accepted that driving at a steady speed gives you the best mileage possible. The logic is simple. It takes more power to accelerate (hear the engine vroom?) than to maintain a steady speed. Keep your pressure on the accelerator gentle and consistent. Most car engines are designed to give optimum mileage at around 45-55 kmph. This also helps me experience self discipline, self control and contentment.

8. Brake gently: First, be present to the road. If you see a junction with a light coming up, cut the engine off by moving to neutral, since the inertia of the car will keep it moving anyway. If the light doesn’t turn red till you are really close, you can switch gears and add power to avoid getting too slow as you cross the signal. A gentle brake in advance will allow you to cruise a distance at a slower speed, while a heavy brake at the last moment is an obvious waste of paid for momentum. Second, be humble. Most people need to use the brake frequently and heavily because they are trying to move fast. Yellesh showed me repeatedly that the guy speeding past you doesn’t necessarily get there fast, especially in heavy city traffic. The fuel he wastes is not worth the minutes he shaves off his drive. Being humble means being okay with letting others get ahead of you and being patient enough to tolerate the few minutes delay. Familiarize yourself with the speed limits and the traffic on your route as much as possible. Don’t accelerate when you know you will have to slam the brake to slow down.

The Power of Helping Others

The power of helping others is one that is constantly overlooked. While we try to find instant gratification through purchasing the newest trending items or maintaining a highbrow lifestyle, we rarely come away fulfilled. In fact, sometimes we come away more empty than before.


To truly fill our lives we need not go any farther than reaching out and helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is through helping others that we can come into our own emotionally and spiritually. Helping others can act as:

1. A natural anti-depressant
Anytime you start to feel depressed, go volunteer somewhere. The sheer act of helping those who are less fortunate than you is enough to lift anyone’s spirits. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes when you know that you’ve done something good for someone else, and that through your actions you’ve helped brighten their day. Skip turning to a pill and try getting a natural high from the spirit of volunteerism.

2. A reality check
If you think your life is in shambles simply because things aren’t falling into place the way you thought they would or because you don’t own the most recent piece of technology, clothes, or cars, then try volunteering somewhere with those less fortunate. It’s a good reality check that there are people out there who are actually suffering, and that suffering extends much farther than our petty grievances.

Hearts of Steel

Buddhism, like many other Eastern schools of thought, is considered to be about being passive, accepting,  and non-confrontational.

Here is a daily encouragement mailer from SGI leader, Daisaku Ikeda, one of the most progressive and proactive thinkers and peace activists of our time that puts this in perspective. I read it and I knew it had to be shared with my readers.

Daisaku Ikeda's Daily Encouragement for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "Good-nature is plentiful, but we want justice with a heart of steel, to fight down the proud." If people are merely good-natured, then those who are arrogant and highhanded will have free rein to carry on as they please. Only those who fight with hearts of steel are people of justice.

Aamir Khan's Satyameva Jayate: End of Reckoning?

I missed the big social media bullet train of this week. I did not watch Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate! It took me all of this week to let the truth sink in, and, Mr. Khan, I am happy to report that I finally shaved and showered and watched the rerun of the pilot on the weekend and the second episode first thing Sunday morning. Here I am in all my football finery, no image required or available.

As a nation, we have survived the Jaiprakash Narains, the Bhagwans and the Sri Sris, Mother Teresa, the Tagores, the Roys, the Annas and the Patkars. None of them have been able to dissuade us from practicing tolerance in areas where no tolerance should have been harbored (and intolerance where a good laugh is in order, really). Much of last week's social media chatter seemed to scoff at the thought that we will succumb to Aamir Khan and suddenly turn into models of virtue. If would be really cool if we did though is what I think about that.

Falling Down Like Hail: A Brief History of the Blues

Whether you are musically inclined or not, you have known the blues. You have known the blues even if you have not known that you have known the blues. The word is used to describe feelings of sadness, longing, and loss, to describe hurt, betrayal, and unrequited love. If you have been let down or been passed up for another, you know the blues. If you have lost a love or missed a bus, you know the blues. If you have done the right thing but been punished for no fault of yours, you know the blues.

 
The word is derived from the genre of music called the blues. Almost all of blues music revolves around these general themes of loss and emotional pain. Yet the funny thing about the blues is that it actually liberates you from the pain and helps you to rise above the loss and go forward with hope and cheer. Most people who are fond of contemporary music enjoy their rock and R&B and jazz. However, what many contemporary listeners may not be familiar with is that the roots of all these genres can be tracked back to the blues. In addition, the blues have a great significance in the history of modern society, and this significance is universal, as the conditions that led to the birth of the blues exist within every society, every individual and can be found in every time and age including our own.



In this post, being written on the birthday of the man who is believed to have sold his soul to the devil in return for his bluesman skills, I will try and share my understanding of this amazing form of music and how it relates to us as human beings. This entails looking at things a little differently than we are ordinarily encouraged to, along with small doses of objective analysis of history and the evolving human condition. This post will need to bring in ideas, let them ferment, add new ideas, and brew the concoction till it tastes just right. This post is written for the general reader and assumes no in-depth knowledge of any form of music. You may, however, come across names and concepts that you are unfamiliar with that I have not attempted to explain. I have deliberately done this so that you can cherish your discoveries as you investigate those ideas. Disclaimer: You may change the way you look at music, society, capitalism and human rights after you read this post, so if you wish to remain comfortably numb, read no further.
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