WHAT?! Plants have LIFE?!

Samriddho Bhowal. 02/13/2021

As always, it would begin with a seed inside a bunch of brown soil. Then a green sapling would pop up out of nowhere, and, day by day, it would get bigger and taller until it was fully grown. Sometimes, even a few fruits would hang from it. Me, a kid of a young age and the knowledge of only the equation 1 + 1 = 2, didn't understand why this happened to a plant. I mean, only a living thing can do stuff like that. But I, an eleven-year-old 5th-grader, knew all about it.

When I first saw a plant grow, my door to curiosity was opened. It didn't even need a key. I asked my parents, "Why does a plant grow like that?"

Three words flew out of my parents' mouth, and immediately answered my question right off the baseball bat: "Plants have life."

I stared. My eyes widened so much they exploded. I began to shout and scream and jump like some crazy person. "WHAT?! Plants have LIFE?! No way! That's pure nonsense!" But it didn't take long for me to find out that it made perfect sense. My parents told me that the Indian scientist Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose discovered that plants have life. However, I was pretty young, so I wasn't able to research and know more about it. But every time I saw a plant, whether inside or outdoors, the two questions struck my head again and again: "Who on Earth is Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose? How did he discover that plants have life?"

After a few years or so, I learned how to research on the Internet, with many sources like Google. And guess what? My first Google search ever was "Who was Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose?" And then I became the smarty-pants. (I'm not bragging or anything, though.) I found out Bose discovered on May 10, 1901, that plants have life. Using his invention called the Crescograph, he showed how plants move. The Crescograph had a series of gears and a smoked glass plate that recorded the movement of a plant's tip under a magnetic scale of 1/100,000 of an inch. The plant was dipped into bromide, a poison. The pulse beat of the plant was shown as a light spot on the smoked plate. The spots became unsteady once the plant started to take in the poison, proving that plants have life. I had a lot of other questions, like "How do plants make their food?" But one way or another, I finally believed that plants are actually alive.

This changed my life forever. I took care of plants and trees and didn't kick them or pull on their leaves, for I knew they would get hurt. If my friends do it, I tell them not to. I realized that plants were very important, but they are also like us.

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose went through a lot of hard work to discover that plants are alive, though. He also introduced the science of radio waves, which Guglielmo Marconi used to make a two-way radio. It was Bose's work in radio waves that made him believe that physics could go far beyond what was apparent to the naked eye. He had always been fascinated by the plant reactions seen in sensitive plants like a mimosa, which will react with the sudden shedding or shrinking of its leaves when irritated. So, Bose moved his attention to plants' responses to stimuli. To do this, he invented the Crescograph. Bose strongly believed that plants had a sensitive nervous system (not unlike that of animals) and that their responses to external stimuli could be measured and recorded. One example is when he discovered that plants grew more quickly when exposed to nice music and gentle whispers, and poorly when exposed to harsh music and loud speech, according to India Today. He even mentioned how plants became depressed when exposed to polluted air and darkening skies. Later on, he put a plant in poison and proved that plants have life.

Another achievement of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose was, as I have said before, his discovery of radio waves and his work with them. According to New World Encyclopedia, "the first remarkable aspect of Bose’s follow up microwave research was that he reduced the waves to the millimeter level (about 5 mm wavelength). That was within a few octaves of visible light. He knew that long waves were advantageous because of their great penetrative power but realized their disadvantages for studying the light-like properties of those electric waves. In November 1894 (or in 1895, according to some sources), in a public demonstration in Calcutta, J.C. Bose ignited gunpowder and rang a bell at a distance using microwaves in wavelength in millimeters of range. The demonstration was held in the Town Hall of Calcutta, in the presence of Sir William Mackenzie, the Lieutenant Governor…" However, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose didn't like to patent his inventions, which is why Guglielmo Marconi is more famous for the invention of the radio.

Bose also achieved several honors. This is a list of them.

Bose's discovery led to many changes inside me, and I became aware of the fact that plants are like us, so it is important to treat them properly. I also became aware of the fact that Mother Nature is very strange. Imagine sitting in the soil, just standing there, thinking nothing, hearing nothing, seeing nothing. Just standing there, with leaves making your food for you. But you are not able to shout when you feel something is hurting you. Imagine, releasing some oxygen every day,

never knowing what good it is doing in the world; and you, absorbing carbon dioxide, never knowing where it is coming from. Nature's most beautiful creation is the plant, a silent living thing. And nature is truly an amazing thing itself.