S. K. Bhatnagar

Shri S.K.Bhatnagar was born in 1937 and brought up at Beawar, Rajasthan. After post-graduation in Botany from Ajmer, he dabbled in agricultural aesearch for a couple of years and then became a lecturer for a short period. He started his career as a civil servant in the Rajasthan Administrative Service. He joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1961 and retired in 1999 as the President of the Customs Tribunal.

Shri Bhatnagar's interests lie in the field of biology, literature and mythology. Under the pen name of Santosh Ratan, he prefers to write on scientific topics in poetic format instead of prose. He likes to draw illustrations from Indian mythology and that too in both English and Hindi. He has published 6 books so far — two in English and four bilingually, including poems on the natural wonders of the world. One of his books, Jeev Jagat Ki Aadharshila has been published in paper format while the others are online at and

We all know


Some plants flower in winter only

When days are short and nights long

Chrysanthemum - Winter flowering - Masaki Ikeda - Wc- Public domain

Some flower in summer only

when nights are short and days long

Lily - Summer flowering - Stan shebs – Wc – cc

but some plants just do not bother

when summer comes or winter goes


they flower when they feel like

all the time without any woes


curiosity impelled some scientists to know

How and why all this goes on on the fore


And they performed experiments to find out

What makes plants behave as they do day in & day out


In such vital matters as flowering

since hoary days of yore


They discovered that there are pigments in leaves

which are sensitive to different frequencies of light


These chromes sense

Red / Infrared and Blue / UV light rays


and ensure that there is due coordination

in light and time


Cereus Cactus
Cereus cactus - Night flowering
- Robert J T- Wc-Public domain

Thus they can 'know' when it is day or night

and measuring the length of light /dark period


by making Bio clock 'entrain' the light

they can judge whether it is time to flower


be it winter or summer time

and adjust their other chores accordingly with time.


Each variety has its own calendar

and follows its own time table its entire life time


So Now we know


How Plants are able to 'smell 'seasons

and get ready to welcome it at the right time


Christmas Cactus blooms at the Christmas time

as if it 'knows 'Christmas is about to come!


Morning glory blooms early morning with the rising Sun

as if sun rays have gently woken it up,- in fun !

Morning Glory
Morning glory - Morning flowering - Frank J G, Kaldari-Wc-Pd

But Jasmine the Rat-ki-rani prefers to flower at night

as if 'star rays kiss and care for them every night


Ten- o -clock plant knows when it is 10 -o-clock to bloom

as if it knows the office going baboo's office time


Gulaebans plant flowers at 5 pm daily

as if it knows when the evening begins


All this happens automatically daily

As photoperiodism guides, playing its role sincerely.


Editor’s Note: This poem is extract from Author’s book ‘Life Sustaining Processes’ uploaded on his website.

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