Tarak Janubhai Mehta, better known as Taarak Mehta, was a popular Gujarati artist. He was a famous columnist, humorist, writer and playwright. His best-known work is Duniya Ne Undha Chashma which he started in 1971 in Gujarati magazine Chitralekha. It was based on contemporary issues from a different perspective. This inspired TV producer Asit Modi to start Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma which he launched on SONY SAB in 2008. The show has continued to be the mainstream of the channel and is widely popular. He was suffering from a prolonged illness and died at the age of 87. As per his wishes, his body was donated to NHL Municipal Medical College for research purposes. He was married to Ila and had a daughter Eshani with her but after their separation, he got married to Indu. He was survived by his daughter, Indu and two grandchildren, Kushaan and Shailee.
Gujarat Sahitya Akademi awarded him Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar (2011) and Ramanlal Nilkanth Hasya Paritoshik (posthumously) (2017). After his demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned that his work reflects unity in diversity of India and that he never left the side of satire and pen. In an interview he revealed that his wife Induben was his first critic, everything that he wrote would first be read by her and then published. He also mentioned that the things he writes about like, going on a trip to a new place or learning cooking, are all about the work and research done by Indu. She writes down points and shares her information with him which he writes in his articles. He had written 80 books, three of which were based on his columns in the newspaper Divya Bhaskar. Some of them are- Mumbai Ma Mehmaan-Yajmaan Pareshan, Kaise Yeh Jodi Milaye More Ram, Dodh Dahya Tarak Mehta ni Diary, Matka King Mandve Halo Africa, Ek sham Boss Ke Naam, and Double Trouble.
He had also written plays: Aa Duniya Panjarapole, Albelun America Vanthelu America, Champaklal Tapuni Jugalbandhi, and Bandhi Mutthi Lakhani. He was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2015. He had also written his autobiography, Action Replay, in two parts. He retired from public life in 2009, citing health reasons.