She had argued with her paediatrician once over the existence of god. He was her friend, “How can you do integral calculus without the assumption of infinity? First you have to assume, only then you can prove.” He would merely smile, but after that she saw an empty photo frame in his clinic, with a bunch of incense sticks, dropping fragrant ash. She had asked him “Who was your mother’s favourite God?” He did not give her an immediate answer. He knew she would have some trick, to play. “Three fourth of this planet has water, it looks blue, so many oceans, cloud has water, well has water, this baby in your clinic has a drop of water in the eye, it can assume any shape, when I need I put it in a bottle to drink, so I put God in a shape, which is familiar to me, like my parents, I did not create them, they created me”

The next time she visited him she saw his dead son’s photograph on the wall. When he first met her in his clinic, she thought she was dying.  The summer left her with breathless lungs, a mouth that would gasp. The respiratory system did not want to expire, the carbon dioxide was being retained, and she was anxious, unable to sleep, walk, and talk, a thin frame, two small fleshy outgrowths from a spiny body. Two big pools of fear, contained in black rings, the kitten purred furiously in her chest, everyone heard her cries, even through a silent mouth. That was when he had smiled at her, after listening to her mother’s righteous indignant complaints against God, who was not healing her child. He asked her “Who created god?” Madhu was surprised, god created us, is this man nuts? He saw the small flush of the believer’s child “I think your mother and many mothers like her created god” Madhu liked him in that minute. It was a sweet idea, it made god human, some one who could obey her, listen to her, some one she could scold. Then he looked in to her eyes, said, “See my eyes, are as big as yours, my nose is only a little longer” she relaxed. He explained, breathing is both a voluntary and involuntary activity, you don’t want to be at the mercy of your body, you can control it through the mind.

He gave the analogy of cycle riding, at first you have to think about the riding , later it becomes automatic, now we relearn to breathe, with that he started to command her to breathe in slowly deeply, breathe out slowly deeply, he kept massaging her back, he kept on at it for what seemed to be an eternity. Somewhere her lungs started to obey him, respiratory rate, slowed down, a kind of tired sleep of a child, inviting the angels to reenter her body ensued, and she slept for hours in his clinic. Her parents were overjoyed, Madhu slowly learnt to control her breathing, she trusted, him as a friend, philosopher, sleeping pill, compass needle. He had given her a god, when she most needed him.

12 thoughts on “BREATHING GOD

    1. Thank you . Doctors are only human. Here the Pediatrician had become an agnostic as he had lost his young son in a car crash and reiterates that parents create a God believing that God will protect their children and Madhu claims God created him to protect her , hence he accepts his grief and commemorates his son by putting up his photograph in the clinic , he had avoided reminders of complicated grief till then …. it took a child to touch a father ….And a father to help a child trust

      Liked by 2 people

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