It is with deep regret I read about the sad news of the passing away of Prof. J.R. Lakshmana Rao (Star of Mysore dated Dec. 29). I had the privilege of being one of his students in Chemistry Honours class at Central College from 1948 to 1951. Amulya K.N. Reddy, who earned a name for himself in the scientific field, was my batch-mate. Prof. Lakshmana Rao was highly popular among the student community. For sheer fluency in delivery, there was no one to match him.
Prof. B. Sanjeeva Rao, Head of the Department of Chemistry, took a liking for him and was instrumental in his appointment as Lecturer. His first posting was at Tumkur. Later on, after retirement from service, he got re-employment at the Indian Institute of Science as Head of the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. He made an offer to Lakshmana Rao to join IISc., as a Research Assistant with assured future prospects. He had almost accepted the offer but fate willed otherwise. Due to the premature death of his father, the responsibility of running the family fell on his young shoulders and he had no other option left except to continue as Lecturer. Had he joined the Science Institute, his services would have been lost to the academic community.
Among the numerous publications to his credit, his memoirs published in 2005 under the title “Nenapina Alegalu” written in highly readable language, makes fascinating reading.
The fact that he lived up to the ripe old age of 96 shows what a disciplined life he led.
I pay my humble tribute to the departed soul.
– M.K. Subba Rao, Bengaluru, 2.1.2018
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