|Title: Cranking Mrs. S and her Mahindra Jeep (Willys Jeep's Indian version)|
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Date Posted：12/07/2018 6:32 PMCopy HTML
We lived in the outskirt of the town, so whenever friends and relatives visited our home they would almost stay for the entire day. Otherwise, it would be like they would come and quickly take us along with them to visit some place. One sunday winter morning, while I was having breakfast and my mom was washing the dishes; she told me that Mrs. S would be visiting us; so she is hurrying up with her kitchen jobs.
Mrs. S was one of her friend since childhood, she was a fat lady in her 40s. She lived in the main town so I knew that she would be here for the entire day. Mrs. S's husband worked in defence so they had a modified Mahindra Jeep of 1990s (no idea about the exact model as each of them looked the similar in those time). Mahindra & Mahindra is a popular Indian automobile manufacturer, it used to manufacture jeeps in those times, those were actually the famous Willys Jeeps, built under their licence in India. Jeeps were popular in the Indian roads, those were very robust vehicles but the younger generation were more attracted to the Maruti Gypsy. The one that Mrs. S drove was of her husband, it was carburretted one so it was obvious that she had to struggle with it daily for waking it up.
Mrs. S reached our home at around 11 am; and when my mom asked her for being late, she told her that her Jeep wasn't starting. Both the ladies blamed the winter for the starting problems of their respective vehicles. For the initial 15 - 20 minutes, both of them were discussing about their cars and how difficult it was for them to start in the winter mornings. My mom told about our 1997 Maruti 800 while Mrs. S told about her Jeep. Once this futile discussion ended with hopeless conclusions like turning on the headlights or blowing the horn etc.; both of them shifted to the kitchen for the lunch. I was occassionally included in their discussion to compare me with Mrs. S's children. She had a daughter of around 15 - 17 and she studied in some other town, so she was the only one in her home when her husband is in distance places.
It was around 4pm in the evening, when Mrs. S finally decided to leave. I was waiting for this moment because of two reasons:
Mrs. S's jeep was in our driveway, she walked towards the driver side door and got in. Thankfully, she left the door open. She was wearing a dark green kurta and white pyjamas. To my surprise, she was wearing heels - precisely saying brown mules. My mom rarely wore heels so this was the first time I would be witnessing a woman pumping the gas with her mules. She was fat, her heavy weight almost squeezed the leather seat under her butt. She adjusted herself in the seat to make herself comfortable. My mom and I were watching her from the driver side door which was open. My mom and she were still busy in their chit-chat, while I was enjoying the show. Her jeep was a modified one, so it had leather bucket seats. My mom asked her how comfortble the seats were so she invited my mom to sit in the passenger seat. My mom got in the passenger seat, so she invited me too to join her. I got in the back seat, it was bench seat so I didn't feel any different than the one in our Maruti 800.
Mrs. S inserted the key in the ignition, which was in the middle of the dashboard. The dashboard had a large speedometer in the centre and some other small gauges around it like the temp, fuel, ammeter etc. As she turned on the ignition, the battery light appeared. It was great, as in our Maruti 800 the instrument cluster was infront of the steering wheel so my mom only got the view of these gadgets. She gave the gas pedal 3 -4 pumps and started to crank. It was a medium cranking, neither very long nor very short but the engine didn't start. Both the driver and passenger side doors were open, Mrs. S was in the driver seat and my mom was in the passenger seat, as there was no centre console so I could see the legs of both the ladies. My mom was wearing slippers and stretching her legs while Mrs. S was pumping the gas with her mules. She pumped again, this time it was 6-7 times and she was literally pumping aggresively. As she was heavy, so her pumping shaked the car. She was bouncing in her leather seat, the intensity of her bounces was more than my mom. She cranked again, it was moderately long one still the engine didn't start. My mom blamed it to the winter and Mrs. S also agreed with her. She pumped again for the 3rd attempt, again the same aggressive pumping, bouncing in the seat and a cranking of mere 40 seconds but still nothing.
My mom was probably enjoying the show as she too faced it every morning. I was also enjoying the show, as I was in the middle of the back seat so I got the best view. The height of the back seat was good, so although the Jeep had its headrests in place, still I could get good view of their back and the front of the windshied. Mrs. S again started to pump, my mom suggested her to keep on pumping while my mom would twist the key for her. She agreed and started to pump the gas, my mom adjusted herself in the passenger seat and bent herself to twist the ignition key which was in the centre of the dashboard. My mom cranked several times, may be 5 or 6 times, each of them were almost a minute. I knew that my mom cranked for long duration compared to other women. During each of her cranking attempts, Mrs. S was constantly pumping the gas, bouncing in her seat.
Now the battery was also getting weak unknown to both the ladies. Thankfully, my mom decided to stop cranking so Mrs. S also stopped her bouncing show. Mrs. S told my mom to take a break may be this would help them. Actually, the Jeep was already flooded and the air was filled with gas; but none of us had any f*c#ing idea about it. The carburretor of our Maruti 800 was better than this Jeep so flooding rarely occured in our car, but this Jeep was not made for this type of abuses. They took rest for almost 10 minutes and it had helped the Jeep to clear some gas.
Mrs. S asked my mom if she would try as she is already tired while pumping the gas. My mom quickly agreed, while my mom got off from the passenger side seat to swap to the driver seat, Mrs. S climbed to the passenger seat from inside. My mom got in the driver seat, she hold the steering wheel and told Mrs. S that it would be great to drive her Jeep someday. My mom also told her that the seats were much comfortable than our Maruti 800. She suggested my mom to change the seats for a new one as our car was already a pre-owned one. My mom told her that she was thinking to replace the leather seats with the fabric ones as it was unpleasant during both summer and winter as they get very hot and very cold respectively.
With that chit-chat, my mom started to pump the gas, she gave 3 - 4 pumps. Although my mom was pumping and bouncing in the seat but the intensity was much lesser than Mrs. S. My mom was a petite one but she was heavy, may be this is why there was this difference in the bounces. My mom started to crank, it was a long one, exceeding more than a minute and half. I thought Mrs. S would stop her but it seemed Mrs. S trusted my mom a lot. The result was however great. The engine started to sputter. As my mom stopped cranking, the engine stalled. So, she again started to crank without any pumping and the engine chugged and sputtered and finally started. My mom cautiously fiddled with the gas to prevent further stalling as the engine was still running rough. My mom gently revved the engine for almost 2 - 3 minutes. Meanwhile, my mom and Mrs. S were discussing about the interior of the car. Mrs. S suggested about some car decorators in the town where my mom can approach for car mats, seat covers and seats etc. .
After 2 - 3 minutes of gentle revs the engine was warm enough, my mom got off from the Jeep's driver seat and Mrs. S climbed back to the driver seat from the passenger seat. Mrs. S told me to seat in the car, she wanted me to go to her home. She reversed her car in the driveway, I was watching her how she worked with the pedals. I was expecting a stall but as the Jeep had powerful engine so there wasn't anymore stalling. I got off from the Jeep once she completed the 3 point turn in our driveway. She finally droveoff, while my mom and I bade her goodbye.
I hope you enjoyed the story !