Journey of Teaching Lifelines #5

(contd..) I looked at the phone and said, ‘He found Kiran’s location. He suspects that Jeff did not take her and they were both kidnapped along with many others. Looks like his inspector friend did not attend the call. I’ll go to the police station now. You go straight to Maaran and ask him to be ready. Here, take my car. I’ll go with the Inspector.’

While I was walking to the police station where Sangeet’s friend happens to be the Sub-Inspector, also is nearer to our school. Remembering something, I called up Maaran to inform my class about the break.

‘Hey, Maara! Tell my kids they won’t be able to see me for the day. They need to work on their Activity. Just ask them to start with their experiments. Lead them to the lab and you get ready. We’re going hunting.’

Maaran had said that he was already on his way to inform his students. But the class was unusually loud.

“Dude! That student Michael is freaking out. Hold on!”

Maaran’s voice was heard over the phone. I have been asking him to change it. He can’t hear a thing clearly without headphones, but the mic picks up a pin hitting the floor.

“Yo! Michael. What happened? Stop sweating. Just tell me.”

Michael’s muffled voice was heard. I have never seen him freak out so much. — “Mr. Maaran! Meena’s missing. She’s not reachable. Her phone is in a dead location. Her parents are also searching the places she goes and she’s nowhere.”

Maaran — “Did anyone of you know where she went earlier?”

Vasu responded, “No! I mean she went out for a break when Mr. Rahamat left for the faculty lounge. She hasn’t returned yet.”

I yelled into my phone calling out Maaran’s phone. He heard it somehow and asked me to stop yelling.

‘Maara! Give Michael the phone.’

“Hello! Mr. Ray! My babe. She’s missin…”

Me — ‘Whoa! Just wait up man. You said her phone is in a dead location. How do you know about that?’

Michael — “Find my Friends app. She uses an iPhone and I uh, track her so I can go meet her during lunch. She complains that I do not allow her to eat lunch. I mean without seeing her, I can’t eat lunch.”

I chuckled, ‘Bro! We’re not so different. Thanks for the tip. Ask Mr. Maaran to contact Ms. Avanthika to track the Principal’s phone.’

Maaran spoke now, “Dude! She doesn’t use an iPhone but I know someone who can track her phone. In fact, she’s sitting right in front of me.”

Me — ‘Damn! I forgot about Abhirami. Okay, you know what to do. Ask her to confirm the current location. I wanna go now.’

As I went to the police station, the Sub-Inspector asked me entirely what happened and also said he had some angry texts from his brother. Sangeet had sent him a voice note with the details. I said if Abhirami’s work could be of help.

Sub-Inspector — “It’s a felony. But everything is a clue. Let that process continue. That’s an additional boost. Now we’ll go in my Jeep.”

We were rushing to the location which was almost 10kms from the school. It was nearer to the old building where the school was first founded and had only primary classes. This building was closed a long time ago and is set to be demolished soon due to land disputes.

S.I — “Jeff is also missing! But I don’t understand why. I can connect the dots between old school, your principal, and your student. But why does he come into the picture? Call Sangeet and ask if he’s reached.”

Sangeet texted me that he’s reached and is 200metres away from the building hiding behind a compound. We stopped the car on the next street and walked through a house’s side gap. Rushed to the wall where Sangeet was sitting on a pile of bricks. S.Igave him a pistol and I was surprised to know he’s authorized to use one.

Maaran called me over the phone — “Dude! You want us to storm in or sneak in?”

Me — ‘Did you see us go?’

Avanthika from the other side said, “Dude! We’re coming through the same house. I have Francis and Master Jacob with us. 15 seconds out.”

Everyone gathered and Sangeet explained the plan.

“Listen you all. This looks like a stupid encounter like we see in the films because it really is. All I know is that it is just one person behind all this and one more person who’s helping. We can’t afford to lose any of the 15 people who are in.”

S.I — “Dude! You said three.”

Sangeet — “Don’t interrupt me! First I and my brother will go in. We will assess the situation and ping you. Maybe Avi, you can tag along.”

S.I — “What the fu…”

Sangeet — “I said don’t interrupt me.”

S.I — “Dude! I have to come. You’re taking civilians with you for the encounter.”

Abhirami messaged me,

Then the inspector, Sangeet and I went inside. I don’t even know why I was going in without even a gun. Went to the first floor where the light was seen.

I guarded the path while Sangeet and S.I stormed in.

Sangeet said in a loud voice as he saw the suspect, “Wait! What’re you doing here?”

S.I — “Who are you?”

I heard the sounds and jogged towards the room to see a person in silhouette walking towards us from the bright sunlight hitting the classroom through the window. Dust flew all over as they did.

I exclaimed, ‘Wait! What’re you doing here?’

S.I — “You both knew? Who the hell is this?”

I said in a confused tone, ‘That’s the one we said was missing.’

S.I — “Principal Kiran? What the hell? She’s smiling as if she did the deed.”

Kiran — “Well! You got me.”

Sangeet — “Kiran! Where are the others?”

Kiran shrugged — “oops!”

~to be continued



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