Anchal/Thodupuzha: Lying in a hospital bed, 10-year-old Amrutesh has often imagined a mass entry like that of Nedumpally Stephen (Mohanlal) in ‘Lucifer’.
‘Nedumpally’ is now standing ready for his re-entry — it is a miniature model of the Willys jeep, just like in the cinema, designed and made by Arunkumar, a native of Thodupuzha.
He has made a full-functional prototype of the jeep, which had become a hit in the movie, and has made a big impression on a high-profile personality — industrialist Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group.
Muthedathuparambil Arunkumar Purushothaman, from Velliyamattam in Thodupuzha is famous for having made many such small models, including that of the auto ‘Sundari’ from the movie ‘Aye Auto’ starring Mohanlal, for his children Keshini and Madhav.
Arunkumar works as a nurse in the Idukki district hospital. His wife, Arya, is also a nurse and is now posted at the Kattappanna taluk government hospital.
Amrutesh, along with his parents and Anchal natives Priya and Biju, has been living in Thiruvananthapuram for two years for his treatment. He came to know about Arunkumar through YouTube and got in touch with him to express his desire for a ‘Nedumpally’ jeep.
Now, the jeep is ready. It will be given to Amrutesh once he is discharged from hospital.
The story of the jeep spread outside Kerala when Mahindra tweeted a picture of Arunkumar and his son standing next to it. The industrialist said his company would be interested in making such models, which could reduce the import of such toys.
Mahindra, who came to know about the model through an article, had tweeted, “That model looks very cool indeed! I’d love to see if he’s interested in us helping him manufacture these toy models for sale to others. Could compete with imports of such toys if made in larger volumes.”
The ‘Nedumpally’ jeep cost Rs 25,000
Arunkumar spent Rs 25,000 to make the fully functional model jeep. It weighs 75 kg, but can carry twice that weight of 150 kg. It has a 24V battery, comes with a charger, has neutral and reverse gears and also sports regular and fog lamps.
The model also has indicators, spare tyre, tool kit, first aid box and a USB charger. The jeep can run for three hours continuously on a single charge.