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Gasping For Breath

Lubaina Bahar | February 18, 2021
Gasping For Breath

Before I got on the ventilator,

I never knew how important it was to breathe.


Before they put me in coma,

I never paid attention to being conscious.


Before I lost my taste and smell,

I ignored the fragrance of nature and taste of water.


Before all my blood was run through machines

I was indifferent to the life within.


Before I got a tube in my throat,

I never admired my voice, my speech.


Before I had my eyes closed,

I never adored the shades of sunset.


Before I said goodbye to my family

I never said, ‘I love you’ enough.


And now it’s time to go, far, far away.

If only I could get a breath, there is so much left to say.


This poem was originally featured in the Bulletin of Royal College of Anesthetists in the UK.

Lubaina Bahar

Lubaina is a doctor by profession and a poet by heart. Working with thousands of patients and having witnessed thousands of stories of success and failure, life and death, she took up poetry as a form of expressing how she really felt. Her medical stories have been shared on her Facebook page called “Humans of Intensive Care”.


Lubaina believes that love and kindness are the only lifelines that will keep us going and not material things. In the pursuit of happiness, we sometimes become completely oblivious of our own being. And there comes a phase in our lives when we feel lost and stand clueless on a crossroads. For Lubaina this phase came in medical school when she tasted love, hatred, loneliness and a million other emotions and realized their importance for the first time. This was when pen and paper became her best friends and her heart bled poetry.


She recently published her book of poems “The Voices in My Head” and has shared a link below to be read by those who are fond of poetry.


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Lubaina bahar
Lubaina bahar
3 years ago

Heart touching

Jisha C. V
Jisha C. V
3 years ago

Lubaina, how beautifully you penned down the voices in your head and how poignantly told the drama of human existence.
Well articulated!!! Keep the fire burning!

Zainab Jeewajee
Zainab Jeewajee
3 years ago


Arti Chopra
Arti Chopra
3 years ago

Beautiful expressions

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