You can put it off as a series of (most) unfortunate events or that some demi-god was having fun by playing pranks with us, but I would simply surmise it as the result of playing too many games of hide-n-seek.
We started our way downward curling and twining down the slopes of Munnar. Most of the people had slept probably because of mere exhaustion of all those aforementioned games. We could hardly have traveled for half an hour when the bus grinded to a halt around a curve.
It seemed that some government bus had run down an auto and the auto-waala had demanded immediate compensation (as if he was likely to get any). Unable to settle what probably is the world’s most intense argument they had decided to get the cops involved. Now this was something which we hardly see every day, two really intelligent people who decide to settle who is to be blamed, by going to the most just-minded people in the country and that too leaving their most valuable possession in the middle of a mountain curve, leaving all the people behind (and ahead) to play a game of counting mountain goats (as if hide-n-seek was not enough).
But we were just a bunch of happy-go-lucky kids and decided to start both the games, in spite of seeing the face of a now worried driver. Some people decided to trespass tea estates while others decided to help themselves with whatever food they could lay their hands upon (the nearest food joint being half a kilometer away). While there were others who decided to sit inside and watch more movies.
The police never arrived. Probably they were still busy settling the case. In the mean time, a bull-dozer was sent to clear away some part of the mountain projecting into the curve so that the waiting buses could progress further. Some good soul did think about us after all. We watched with much awe as the machinery did its magic by cutting and slicing the little piece of mountain land.
It took another 30-40 minutes accompanied by loads of chorus act by the public to help the bus squeeze through the edge of the curve and the two vehicles. At long last we got through. Of course, it was time to get all the soldiers back to the base. The driver was perhaps the most optimistic soul ever, for he very clearly told us that were still bound to reach our destination within 3-4 hours. Now, how he calculated the time is still a mystery to us all, but probably even he hadn’t expected what we were to encounter soon.