P.L.Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai

Purushottam Laxman Deshpande
Born 8th November 1919,
Mumbai
Death 12th June 2000,
Pune.
Occupation Writer, Actor, Music Composer, Film and TV Producer and Director
Education M.A., LL.B.
Spouse Sunita Deshpande

Purushottam Lakshman Deshpande, popularly known by his initials "Pu. La." or as P. L. Deshpande, was a Marathi writer and humorist from Maharashtra. He was also an accomplished film and stage actor, music composer, harmonium player, singer and orator. He was often referred to as "Maharashtra's beloved personality".

P. L. Deshpande was born on 8 November 1919 in Gaodevi area (Krupal Hemraj Chawl) in Mumbai to Lakshman and Lakshmibai Deshpande. The family used to stay at Kenway house, Proctor road, Grant road in the 1960s. Most of his observations like B Merwan- Irani restaurant, Lamington road (Dr Dadasaheb Bhadakamkar Marg) Ganeshotsav & the Indian classical singing programs threin, Hirabai Badodekar's stay have been penned in his Ganagot (1966). His family then moved to Vile Parle and Pu La Deshpande settled in Pune for educational and work purposes.

P. L. Deshpande studied at Parle Tilak Vidyalaya. He received his college education at Fergusson College in Pune and Willingdon College in Sangli. He also took lessons in playing harmonium from Dattopant Rajopadhye of Bhaskar Sangitalaya.

P. L. Deshpande served as teacher in Orient High School, Mumbai. He also worked for some years as a college professor in Belgaum, Karnataka before embarking on a career in writing, acting, directing and composing film music.

He also worked for newly founded Doordarshan, the state owned Indian TV. He was the first person to interview the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on Indian television. He was deputed to the BBC in UK for a year-long training. After which he spent some time in France and in West Germany. It was this specific period and stays in these countries that his later travelogue ‘Apoorvai’ was to be based upon. His other travelogue ‘Poorvarang’ is based upon his journeys in South East Asian countries.

P. L. Deshpande was proficient Hindustani classical musician. He went on to gain fame as author, screenplay writer, actor, director, music director and singer. During his lifetime he also participated in several philanthropist activities.

P. L. Deshpande passed away at the age of 80 in Pune on 12 June 2000. A large public park on Sinhgad road in his adopted home town Pune was named after him in commemoration.

P. L. Deshpande was most well known for his writings as a humorist. However he was a prolific writer in all genres and produced numerous original works as well as adaptations of works from other languages into Marathi. Most of his writings are deeply rooted in Marathi language.