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S S Tarapore (1936-2016)

I joined the research department of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 1977, but I did not have an opportunity to personally meet S S Tarapore (SST) for about 11 years, till December 1988, as I was away from the department working with the Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation/National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development till mid-1983 and later with RBI training institutions at Chennai and Mumbai. But I came to know that as a person paying keen attention to the department’s interest, he had kept a watch on my movements and performance wherever I worked. Since 1988, I had regular contact with him, both officially and personally, always warm-hearted and affectionate till the very end.

During one of my short visits to the RBI central office in the early 1980s, I was shown a person clad in a white full sleeves bush shirt walking swiftly out of the building along with another person also clad identically, both of them of similar frame and height. One was SST. The other was N A Mujumdar whom SST considered his guru. On any working day you could not miss this pair walking together after lunch. I was told that SST was a strict disciplinarian. Later, I realised that he was ruthless in applying discipline to himself, a legendary piece of information in RBI and also outside. ­Nobody dared to offer him even a pen as a gift.

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