Saturday, April 13, 2013

The First Breath

 Breathing is integral to our being. We inhale and exhale countless times without even  being aware. It is when it’s difficult to breath that we think about it. Being a doctor I know the physiological , biochemical and pathological intricacies of gaseous exchange ... functioning of the lungs and various respiratory diseases. However that is not where I want to go.

The words “Inspiration” and “expiration” are related to breathing  and have such deep meaning of life and death. Still this is not what I want to talk about. It is the first one of all the countless inspirations and expirations that fascinates me. The beautiful effort that first breath  demands . The significant first achievement of a nascent human being.

This phenomenon is intricately related to my everyday work.  I see them being born and I worry over there breathing and finally find solace when I can certify “cried immediately after birth”. Medical science has explanation regarding surface tension of air sacs (alveoli), about the origin of the substance called surfactant and a lot of things that makes it’s pretty explainable through physiological and biochemical aspects. All that however has failed to bring out the beauty of that first valiant effort and why it makes the newborn cry?
A little eccentric as I am ... I mused over it and tried to give it my own explanation... a little magical.. a little philosophical... and a little heart warming and enlightening.. I like to bask in that thought and I love the way it sounds ...

I nested that thought for a couple of years but I feel like sharing the form of poetry...

A union of halves had occured
A brief journey had found its roots
Then a holy heart had suddenly flickered
Gradually  a consciousness emerged
In a sea of knowledge it  immersed..

It had sounds of the past ,present ,and future
A deep understanding of life and distant visions
The true understanding of the supreme creator
The serene sanct fluid totally soaked the creature

The maternal loving abode grew and nourished
The consciousness moved and kicked with vigour
The knowledge was still there dreaming unblemished
But it was time for another journey to trigger....
It was a sudden rush of pain and alarming contraction
The abode threatening to push the conciousness away
It was time and there was no escape no retraction
And suddenly the sea of knowledge gushed out of the window

The little being  felt the first touch of cold air
Suddenly abandoned by  the caring sea of enlightenment
The final bits threatening to gush out of its swelling chest
It could hold no more it was it’s final quest...

And a herculean effort pushed the fluid away
And the lungs were filled up with worldly air
And the newborn cried to it’s dismay...
Cos it was nascent again by the loss of wisdom
And it was the beginning of another journey .

 Crying newborn baby girl after bath. Stock Photo - 10315070

Thus my crazy thought it’s the loss of the collective wisdom of the universe dissolved in the liquor surrounding a the growing fetus in the womb and its replacement by the worldly air of ignorance ; that makes the first cry. The deep awareness of the loss of all knowledge 
and beginning of a lifetime to gain it back.


  1. Just Amazing...deep thought to that first deep breath and that first cry from the depth of the soul...

  2. Another amazin piece from a beautiful blogger..must admit..I never assigned this meanin to "CIAB"...truly thoughtful...

  3. Thanks Madhu :). This post is truly special cos this is your first ever comment on my blog though it's my blogging that made us friends. I was sure that Nivedita and you would definitely appreciate this one. Thanks a lot for finding time to read and post a comment. It's so encouraging :).


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