Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sirens in Bangalore!

The view from our hotel in India is very nice...buildings, huge trees, green...even eagles soaring near the hotel window.

A few hours after we arrived in Bangalore, we heard an air raid siren...we did, really. I looked outside. No one was looking up at the sky; no one was running for shelter.

Yesterday morning, again this morning and moments ago - we heard more sirens. I can't stop myself from looking outside; no one is running for shelter.

There is a military base nearby and they use the siren, three times a day, to call the soldiers and base employees to meals. Culture shock...heart beats a bit faster for that second. I can't get myself to work through the siren. I stop, I listen, I go to the window and look.

I'm on a high floor in a hotel and I scan the sky. For what? A missile? From where?

Gaza is thousands of kilometers away...I check my Red Alert app and Israeli news sites regularly. My children are in Israel - my life is there. I'm here with my husband for fun and for a little business.

I want to ask what idiot thought of sounding a siren for food and then balance that by saying that it isn't their fault that we live as we do, that we are conditioned to feel that kick of adrenaline, fear, whatever at the sound of a siren.

A friend in Israel wrote that her daughter heard an ambulance siren and panicked, thinking it was a siren. It is part of the Post Trauma Stress Disorder that too many of us have. We function fine - go to work, travel, have fun...and then we hear a siren...or something like a siren...and we remember running to bomb shelters, to panicking because we know our children are outside and we can't accept being pushed or ordered to take shelter without knowing our babies are safe...even our teenage babies, even our married ones.

Sirens in Bangalore? It's so funny it can bring me to tears. You can travel around the world and bring Israel with you. I have Israel with me - in the calls and messages with my children, in my heart as I look at things here and compare them to Israel. This area of India is impossibly flat; I miss the hills of Jerusalem. It's hot here, even at night; I miss the cool evening hours of Maale Adumim. The drivers are insane - I miss the insane drivers in Israel. I miss walking the streets of Jerusalem, seeing my people. It is lonely for a Jew so far from home.

If I could think of one thing I wouldn't miss in Israel, ironically, it would probably be the threat of a siren going off somewhere in Israel...honestly, who came up with the idea of using an air raid siren to call people to eat????


Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Bangalore, eh? Every IDF infantry soldier from my generation (and earlier) will remember training on Bangalore Torpedoes. It was a rocket-device used to breach wide areas of barbed wire. Invented by the British colonials in India, I think. I can never hear the city's name without thinking about that.

Anonymous said...

When our kids moved from Ofakim to Ramat Bet Shemesh, my stepdaughter kept our grandkids inside on Yom HaZikaron, and explained to them that the siren they would be hearing was not warning of rockets.

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