Taraporevala, who is of Parsi Zoroastrian descent, resides in Mumbai, India. She graduated from Harvard University (where she met Nair as an undergraduate, leading to their longtime creative collaboration). She later attended New York University as a graduate student.
Ms. Taraporevala wrote the screenplays for Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala, both directed by Mira Nair. Interestingly, the final drafts of both these films were written in Brooklyn, NY. Other projects with Nair include the screenplay for My Own Country, based on the book by Abraham Verghese as well as the cinematic adaptation of Pulitzer-prize winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake. The film, The Namesake, was released in 2007.
Her other produced credits include the film Such a Long Journey based on the novel Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry and directed by Sturla Gunnarson. Finally, she wrote the screenplay for the film Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, directed by Dr. Jabbar Patel for the Government of India and the National Film Development Corporation of India.
Her photographs have been exhibited in India, the US, France and Britain, including London’s Tate Modern gallery.
In Fall 2004, Ms. Taraporevala released a coffee table photography book, a first-ever visual work on India's Parsi Zoroastrian community, entitled Parsis: the Zoroastrians of India - A Photographic Journey (Overlook Press, ISBN 1-58567-593-8). A 24-year labor of love, the book offers rare photos, as well as historical and personal essays on the Zoroastrian religion and Parsi social history. (South Asia's Parsis are descendants of immigrants who fled from an undetermined place in Persia over 1000 years ago, and have been a vital part of the Indian cultural fabric since then).
Taraporevala had previously self-published the book in India in 2000, where it sold out in just a few months. The book received glowing advance praise from film director Mira Nair, Harvard literature professor and noted postcolonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha, acclaimed writers Rohinton Mistry and Bapsi Sidhwa and conductor Zubin Mehta.