Happy New Year And The Vanishing Act
Happy New Year And The Vanishing Act7 mins 186 7 mins 186
Almost after nine months, our school was going to reopen. The pandemic had made us invent new ways to lead our lives. We were attending our classes through online mode. Even two quarterly exams were also conducted online. But we students were bored to the core being confined to our homes. We were not allowed to go out. We couldn't play any games. Even when we did venture out for some urgent work we had to wear a mask and maintain distance with others so that we would not get infected with this deadly disease.
Now our school has opened after taking a lot of precaution. The whole building has been sanitised. In the classroom, we students are made to sit leaving a seat vacant between us to avoid the spread of the infection. At the entry gate, our guard allowed us in after checking our body temperature with the help of a thermal gun.
The year was coming to an end. In order to lift our spirits, the school was thinking of doing something to make us happy. The Principal announced that the school would hold a grand new year function which would help all the students and the teachers and other staff to become energised and envigorated. So many months of lockdown and restrictive existence had sent all of us in a depressing mood. A grand magic show was to be held by the famous magician Bubla Bose. A big auditorium in the city was booked to accommodate a huge audience maintaining all the protocols of Covid restrictions.
On the function day, our school bus would carry our Principal and teachers first to the auditorium from the school. Then the bus would return and carry the students residing in the hostel. Other students and parents would reach the auditorium directly. The magician Bubla Bose would be reaching the auditorium by the arrangement made by the school.
The bus took the Principal and the teachers on the first trip. But before reaching the auditorium the bus was apprehended by a group of bike-borne youth. They then forced the bus to be driven out of the city to a remote location.
From the remote area, the group leader forced the Principal to call up the school governing body Chairman who was incidentally the education minister. They raised their demands and before it's fulfilment they would be holding the school bus with the authorities as a hostage.
The government wanted to know their demands but they would not spell it out saying that they wanted an unconditional promise from them for its fulfilment. Everyone was in a soup of how to manage the situation ably and successfully. Such a situation rarely occurs and therefore inertia had been built around this problem and valuable time was elapsing.
Magician Bubla Bose had by this time reached the auditorium. Finding the audience almost absent he raised the question of holding the show. Slowly the parents and students were trickling in. Some teachers were also now present there. But none of them had the authority to take a qualitative decision.
A massive Police force was mobilised who reached the spot where the hostage drama was being enacted. The authorities were in a dilemma of how to handle the situation smoothly. After all the safety of so many people was involved. How much the captors were armed was unknown.
Then Magician Bubla Bose broke the ice and forced everyone out of the inertia of inaction. He suggested to the available school authorities at the venue to allow him to use his trade to do a trick on the kidnappers. The Police officers at the venue were made to be involved to try out the idea for the successful culmination of the operation.
I was among the students present at the time at the venue and had a ringside view of all the happenings. Then the magician made an announcement over the public address system. He made a startling revelation. An act of magic display he was going to enact which he had thought of it in today's agenda of his show but was doubtful due to the available infrastructure. But now as the situation had thrown a challenge at him, he would jump in and take the plunge. He requested everyone who was interested in viewing his act of Vanishing should follow him to the location where the hostages were being held. There he would experiment with his newly acquired trick which he had named as 'The Vanishing Act'.
Everyone was intrigued at this announcement and a lot of curiosity was aroused amongst the audience. The school authorities present with the help of the Police made the logistical arrangements for the transport of the people to the scene of the drama.
We reached the spot which was at a location beyond the city limits and bordering the forest area. There the captors were constantly shouting instructions over the handheld mobile public announcement system. It was now almost three hours the kidnapping drama was in play.
A massive Police posse had gathered there with their full infrastructure of wireless system and crowd control mechanism. But despite all the machinations, everything was in a state of stupor and lacked direction and leadership because no one had any idea of how get out of this situation.
The home ministry department was coordinating with the Police with remote control. Then Magician Bubla Bose and his team reached the spot and set up their tools. A big generator van had been brought there to power the equipment being used by the magician team. Unique holographic machinery set up was installed within no time. Some large screens were set up at strategic points to capture the images. Then the magician got into his act. Magician Bubla Bose for obvious reasons did not announce what he was going to try to unnecessarily create a conflict with the kidnappers. But the captors seeing such huge bundobust was getting suspicious and were now training their announcing system towards us. They were announcing that no one should try to act smart and consider the safety of the hostages.
But Magician Bubla Bose was unperturbed and went on with his act. He needed a lot of concentration. Within a few minutes, he was well entrenched in his act of mass hypnotism. He said some magic mantra, 'Gilli Gilli yo' and his assistants started the holographic imagery.
All of a sudden the bus holding the hostages 'vanished' from our sight. The kidnappers cried foul seeing the bus vanish. They threw out threats at the Police. But everyone knew that the warning was only sound and no fire. In the meanwhile, a crack commando force was slowly encircling the perpetrators from all sides and closing in reducing the gap with them.
The kidnappers 'not being able to see' the bus kept shouting excitedly and were throwing dire threats at all of us. Then we could see them that they were armed but not with firearms. This emboldened the commando force and they quickly overpowered the kidnappers. After the kidnappers were captured, the magician made the bus visible once again. Everyone gave a huge sigh of relief and when the spectators understood the magnanimous act of display clapped their hands frenziedly.
The kidnappers some six of them were handcuffed and taken to custody. Later it came to be known that the kidnappers were fighting for the cause of the Migrant labourers and their rehabilitation who were still out of jobs. The administration promised them that their grievance would be definitely addressed.
The Magician asked all the assembled spectators to move again to the city auditorium to view the remaining part of the magic show. The hostage bus holding the Principal and other staff also accompanied us to the auditorium to view the concluding part of the show. After the show, the audience erupted in euphoric joy. Truly, the show was something out of this world. So much pyrotechnics and other phenomenal wizardry just blew our mind away. The Magician ushered in the New Year in his signature way.
At the end in his valedictory speech our respected Principal profusely thanked Magician Bubla Bose for his yeomen service in saving so many school authorities lives. The Principal did ring the bell to announce the new year 2021.