Wednesday, April 7, 2010


As told by Ashok to me...

Of late the old faithful, less of a car more a family member, Esteem, had been trying to tell me something about her ailment. Having learnt how to filter-out the clutter and unmindful of her sluggishness noticed or unnoticed during our frequent outings together and as a reflex action I would press the accelerator a bit more, increasing the RPMs, to achieve the normal speed.

Come one day it was my turn to pick The VKs' for a social late in the evening in Delhi, some distance from Noida.

Getting dressed, I opened the door and slid in to the driving seat, cranked the engine, pushed the clutch, engaged the gear and pressed on the accelerator, simultaneously releasing the brakes. Expecting the normal surge of taking off I was surprised to note it missing and the reluctance in the Esteem to speed up; the "nagging" appeared to have become louder and more persistent.

I picked up the waiting VKs' from their place across the road and cajoled the Esteem into gaining some momentum and speed.

The loud nagging from the Esteem soon became a whimpering as we laboured up the slopes of the numerous flyovers en route. Somehow, though reluctantly, she did make it and carried us on to Subroto Park.

We were drinking and making merry inside while she, acutely aware of her debility and lack of energy making it difficult her to serve her master, was weeping outside.

Late at night for the return journey to Noida, the engine did pick up immediately on turning the key but with little power being transmitted to the driving wheels it was a slow and agonising takeoff.

Looking at the car’s state my worries increased many fold; even the thought of a chance break down, in the middle of night, far away from any help with a lady accompanying us was unthinkable.

Keeping my fingers crossed, praying all the while, I cajoled her into slowly crawling back, at least to the VK’s place, which she did luckily. However, it needed a push, by the colony guard on to the road to Ashoka House.

Loyal as ever, gasping for breath and with a valiant effort, somehow, she made it to the gate of the house. And there, with hardly any energy left, having performed her last act of duty for the master she gave a sigh and died on the spot.

The mechanic called the next morning, diagnosed a worn-out clutch and a pressure-plate with no pressure left.

All the while, ignoring the signals from the car, the clutch slipping, I had been, as a reflex, compensating for the loss of power by pressing on the accelerator till both the clutch and the pressure plate gave way completely.

Moral of the Story ‘Give due attention to Nagging: Wife or Car; Man or machine ’


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