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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 731-732
Prof. (Dr.) J.C. Taraporvala: Perfection personified

Department of Orthopaedics, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), Mumbai, India

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Date of Web Publication3-Dec-2012

How to cite this article:
Warrier S. Prof. (Dr.) J.C. Taraporvala: Perfection personified. Indian J Orthop 2012;46:731-2

How to cite this URL:
Warrier S. Prof. (Dr.) J.C. Taraporvala: Perfection personified. Indian J Orthop [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Dec 7];46:731-2. Available from:

Prof. (Dr.) J.C. Taraporvala breathed his last on 28.07.2012 following an illness he endured with the dignity that he lived his wonderful life. He headed the Department of Orthopaedics at the Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy (JJ) Hospital, and Grant Medical College, and presided over all the professional bodies of which he was a member, including the Indian Orthopaedic Association, Indian Society for Surgery of the Hand, and Bombay Orthopaedic Society.

I asked him if I should take up Orthopaedics after completing my MBBS. His reply was to make a profound impact on my life! He told me that Orthopedics would be exciting and challenging in the years ahead. I would have a happy and comfortable life, but I should not expect to become another K.T. Dholakia! Honest, balanced, far sighted, and humorously humble.

A devoted teacher, with an undying passion to impart the knowledge that he so continually and enthusiastically gathered, he left an impression on every student he tutored. Every Wednesday, he would breeze into the Trauma ward for rounds.The rounds were never hurried, and we could never hide anything from him. Every wrong plaster had to be redone, and every erroneous fixation had to be explained and then corrected under his supervision. Dr. J.C. Taraporvala (JCT) evolved the perfect system of supervised and staged surgical independence. We received "cutting" work after we proved our mettle in managing the wards. Then he would base our further progress on our abilities. He abhorred unsupervised surgeries and forbade us from taking up complex cases, in the middle of the night. He was then considered by some as being too fastidious. Over the years, his approach has been established beyond doubt as the best way to ensure uniformly good outcomes!

Each grand round would be peppered with jokes and humorous anecdotes. Many of his jokes often would involve the typical Bawaji. He had the rare capability to laugh at himself, and that gave him the right to point out the humor in any and every little thing around us. He was obsessed with record keeping. All interesting cases were photographed and cataloged in his registry. The Bone tumor registry, and the Hand Clinics thrived during his tenure. He was an able administrator and tough task master. He always cultivated the habit of presenting and writing a paper amongst his residents. He was well read, socially conscious, and quite involved in the academic and professional bodies he was associated with. He was a true ambassador of Indian Orthopaedics and projected a dignified and respectable image wherever he went. He invited many National and International visitors to our department, and we were fortunate to interact with them. Such encounters were sowing seeds in our impressionable minds about future academic pursuits. Little wonder then that his students have risen far beyond his achievements, presided over important associations all over the world! He took immense pride that his "boys"were doing so well. Every time I spoke to him, in the past few months, he never failed to ask about each one of us!

He enjoyed his sabbatical every year! He shut shop and ducked into his favorite "Sun-n-Sand" hotel in Mumbai for a few days with his lovely, gracious, and ever smiling wife "Matti". I believe that was where he spent time cleaning out each of his cardboard mounted slides with a wisp of cotton dipped in spirit. The old Kodachrome slides in his immense collection always retained their color and clarity. A perfectionist to the core, he led us by example. He practiced whatever he preached.

For each term ending party, we would be invited to his wonderful home, which overlooked the Arabian Sea. The warmth, the care, and the camaraderie are difficult to forget. While Madam made the choicest Parsi dishes, and cooked some exotic western fare, he took special care to get his sister-in-law (I think) to make some wonderful Gujarati vegetarian food for me and other vegetarians! Attention to detail! His ex-registrars carried on this legacy by having an evening out with him and madam twice a year, until his 75 th birthday. The Taraporvalas had a genuine concern for each of us and enquired about our progress in our own spheres. Not long after, Matti, ever so gracious in her own battle against an ailment, passed on. Her passing saw JCT withdraw into a shell. I believe he attended two scientific programs only after that. One was at the IOACON 2011 at Jaipur and the other at Nashik.

I last spoke to him a few days before he passed on. I asked him about a book I had sent him a few days earlier. He asked me not to send any more books as it was becoming difficult to laugh! He was battling ever mounting breathlessness, and I had sent a hilarious book on cricket, Pakistan, and politics. Even to the end, he retained his humor and wit. After 3 min of speaking (usually over an hour!!) he asked.
"Sudhir, is it ok if I stop speaking now?"

Before I could answer, He did. Forever.

May his soul requiescat in peace.

Correspondence Address:
Sudhir Warrier
Department of Orthopaedics, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), Mumbai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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