Lock up

Chapter XV
Lock up  The Lunch Box Journal

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The dinner was a mix of one vegetarian and everything nonvegetarian cuisines that were available at the restaurant at that time. There was one vegetarian guy that disrupted the whole order, always happens when there is an imperfect balance, one against five. And being adamant is his forte, so there is nothing that convincing or arguing about it could do. They had a plan to get some drinks but then again half of the crowd consisted of teetotalers – another buzzkill, to be fair. And given the late hours, there weren’t options for the two guys who did decide to have some drinks.

The drinks were served, the sizzling hot (earlier that days) re-heated forest chicken was served. Talks were continued about girls, mostly. And the dinner ended. The leftover few chicken pieces were served to the dogs who seemed to have enjoyed more than they have. They took care of their nature’s call and settled back in their bus each occupying a seat on either side of the bus. The driver was already back in and had his power nap meanwhile. As soon as they settled back in, the driver asked whether they wanted to carry on with the journey. He backed up the bus slowly, only to hear a loud thud of a noise. None of the other people in the bus were paying attention while he backed up his bus, in absolute contrast to their natural instinct to help the driver out in case of such situations that involved a little assistance. Maybe it was the dinner that they had or the trance that they were in to continue on with their journey with the next day’s plan in mind.

They hit a car, the car that was completely masked in the blindness of the dark starry night. It stood right behind the bus that the driver didn’t quite manage to catch in the side mirror. The rear mirror didn’t do must justice since the back of the bus was covered in curtains. It did not take much time for the owner of the car to come out and investigate the damage that has happened to their car. It was hard for the people inside to point the owner of the car because three people were arguing, one after the another. The folks in the bus decided to stay inside and not get involved unless it was truly necessary. So, they decide to observe from inside of the vehicle as the driver was handling the situation. He was doing a pretty good job at handling, in the beginning, that is.

The folks inside the bus were completely oblivious to the conversation that was happening on the outside. The major reason being that half of them didn’t understand the language. The rest who knew were translating to bring them up to the speed of what was happening to access whether they should get involved or not. The logic thing for them to do was not to get involved as the driver had seen such incidents and they felt he was more than capable of handling the situation at hand. But then it went completely sideways when the driver decided to call the police since they were demanding money, far more than the actual damage.

Neil was the first to get down, not to get involved but just wanted to inspect the damage done. There was a little damage done, but it wasn’t that serious of a damage to standing there and argue about. Akhil also decided to become the expert at analyzing the damage, so he got down next and started inspecting the damage. That was when one of the three owners decided to pass out a comment seeing that every one of them were guys and that they were drunk and that is how they hit the car. That touched a nerve. A hellfire was almost on the way, but it was somehow controlled. Firstly because none of the people were drinking. And secondly, it was uncalled for. The basic stereotyping that a bunch of guys traveling have to be drinking is such a cliche. All the other folks had to get down now before it took a turn for the worse. But the three owners were convinced that these drunk people hit their car and they determined to get the money for their damages.

The two owners were now arguing with the driver while the Aunty (another owner) decided to preach her economics knowledge. She put on her Sherlock hat and gave one look at the guys and concluded that they were students going on a weekend trip. And continued to cook up some story to convince them to join her team and make the driver pay up. She didn’t stop there. She went ahead and analyzed the damage and did the calculus and permutation in the air and it came to ₹13580/-. It was so perfect that it was too good to be true. But these guys were no fools either. Firstly, because none of them were students and secondly the damage cost couldn’t be a bigger hoax.

The folks didn’t want to get involved whatsoever, but they decided to support the driver at any cost. That was when the driver called the police as if he would be interested in solving a trivial problem as a small accident that didn’t involve any life-threatening feats. And it was almost midnight. The Police was pissed for the very reason to have been called for something so trivial. Now, they also wanted money to let them go. It was a perfect threesome now, the Police, the driver, and the owners, arguing their way into more trouble. It was the driver’s mistake, which was evident, which the driver instead of settling just made it bigger. Eventually, when no one budged, it had to go to the Police Station to be resolved by someone in charge. And the in charge would only come in the morning. They were now escorted to the Police Station.

The driver was an idiot, no wonder, who without much thought decided to make the issue bigger. The folks, however nice they were to stand up for the driver, could have provided a much better course of action. But then again, they thought it would be fun to hang out at the Police Station. Something to do with the bucket list?

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But they didn’t quite see what was coming their way. They had no clue. What they were sure that it would one hell of an experience and a ‘great’ story to tell it to other folks! But was it worth it? 

( To be continued… )

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The Lunch Box Journal
– ajaykontham