churumuri.com records with a heavy heart the passing away of Dr Tilak Raj Sharma, former director of the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore, on Thursday, 1 July 2010. Dr T.R. Sharma, who had been ailing since February this year, was 78 years old, and is survived by his children Shashi, Vivek, Ritu and Alka Sharma.
A father-figure to a young boy growing up in his shadow on 5th main road in 1970s’ Vontikoppal, Dr Sharma was an epitome of personal and professional success. DFRL was adjudged the best science laboratory in the silver jubilee year (1983) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under his watch.
A Charminar-smoking scientist, Dr Sharma drove a Premier Padmini (MEM 1696) to work and a Lambretta scooter for personal errands. Evenings were spent in laughter around a rummy table as a tandoor spluttered into life with friends and colleagues from DFRL and the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).
Dr Sharma’s contributions, as indeed those of his colleagues, will be remembered fondly each time a hungry Indian, in India or abroad, opens a packet of ready-to-eat food. The technology for this, pioneered by DFRL for Indian missions to Antarctica, was later licensed to food makers like MTR, Halidram’s, Kohinoor and ITC.
Rest in peace, Dr Sharma.