I met Venu’s dad, Dr Ratnam, in person when I went to Delhi on my way to a job interview at Shriram Chemicals in Kota, Rajasthan. I was fortunate to get that job as a Graduate Engineer Trainee! I am sure Dr Ratnam played a role for my selection for that job.
Dr Ratnam was a well-respected Chem E Alumni of the University of North Dakota; first one to get a Ph D; the only one from India to receive the prestigious Sioux Award. Thanks to him, Venu was able to attend UND. Thanks to Venu, I was able to make it to UND, after a year stint in Kota.
From April 1975 to the summer of 1979, Venu and I were housemates. Whenever Venu’s parents visited him, I was around. Very memorable times when Venu’s mom would cook us great meals. We even would come home for a delicious lunch!
After I got married, Usha and I moved to our own place not too far from Venu’s. I remember Dr Ratnam’s visits to our home. He definitely had a sweet tooth, despite his diabetic conditions. On one occasion, Usha had made Carrot Halwa. Dr Ratnam enjoyed having a couple of servings, He even insisted on some ice cream to have at a la mode!
On his centenary, I gratefully remember the indirect influence he had on my career as a chemical engineer.