Purushottam Laxman Deshpande

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Purushottam Lakshman Deshpande
Shri P.L. Deshpande-Commemorative stamp 16th Jun 2002.jpg
Commemorative stamp on Shri P.L. Deshpande issued 16th Jun 2002 by India Post[1]
Native name पुरुषोत्तम लक्ष्मण देशपांडे
Born (1919-11-08)8 November 1919
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Died 12 June 2000(2000-06-12) (aged 80)
Pune, Maharashtra
Nationality Indian
Education M.A., LL.B.
Occupation Writer, actor, music composer, film and television producer, film director, music director
Spouse(s) Sunita Thakur
Website puladeshpande.net

Purushottam Lakshman Deshpande (Marathi: पुरुषोत्तम लक्ष्मण देशपांडे)(8 November 1919 – 12 June 2000), popularly known by his initials पु. ल. ("Pu. La.") or as P. L. Deshpande, was a Maharashtrian and Marathi writer and humorist from Maharashtra. He was also an accomplished film and stage actor, music composer, harmonium player, singer, and orator.[2] He was often referred to as "Maharashtrache Laadke Vyaktimatva" (roughly translated as "Maharashtra's beloved personality").

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Purushottam Lakshman Deshpande was born on 8 November 1919 in Gaodevi area (Krupal Hemraj Chawl) in Mumbai in a Goud Saraswat Brahmin family to Lakshman and Lakshmibai Deshpande. The family used to stay at Kenway house (opposite Robert Money School), Proctor road, Grant Road. His family then moved to Jogeshwari where he stayed at the newly formed Saraswati Baug Colony till he was 8 years old. His first 8 years and Saraswati Baug is nicely described in his story "Balpanicha Kaal Sukhacha" in his book Purchundi. The family then moved to Vile Parle. He lived in many places like Pune, Belgaum, Varli, Santacruze, Delhi. Finally, Pu La Deshpande settled in Pune.

Education[edit]

Purushottam Lakshman 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.

Personal life[edit]

His first wife (the former Ms. Sundar Divadkar from a family in Karjat) died soon after the wedding in the early 1940s. On 12 June 1946, Deshpande married his second wife Sunita Thakur, an accomplished writer herself, in Ratnagiri. Sunita-bai outlived him. He died on the 54th anniversary of their wedding ceremony.

Professional life[edit]

Both P L Deshpande and his wife served as teachers in Orient High School, Mumbai. He also worked for some years as a college professor in Rani Parvati Devi College Belgaum, Karnataka and Kirti College, Mumbai. 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.

Accomplishments[edit]

Pu La 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.

Death[edit]

Deshpande died in PUNE on 12 June 2000 as a result of an affliction of Parkinson's disease. He was aged 80.[3] A large public park on Sinhgad road in his adopted home town Pune was named after him in commemoration.

Literary accomplishments[edit]

Pu La 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. He preferred to identify his Marathi adaptations of plays and novels in other languages as bhawanuwad (भावानुवाद), roughly meaning "translation of expressions" or "translation of feelings". Most of his writings are deeply rooted in Marathi language.

One-act plays[edit]

  • मोठे मासे आणि छोटे मासे (Mothe Mase Aani Chhote Mase) – 1957
  • विठ्ठल तो आला आला (Vitthal To Aala Aala) – 1961
  • आम्ही लटिके ना बोलू (Aamhi Latike Na Bolu) – 1975

Plays[edit]

  • तुका म्हणे आता (Tuka Mhane Ata) – 1948
  • पुढारी पाहिजॆ (Pudhari Pahije) – 1951
  • अंमलदार (Ammaldar) – 1952...based on Nikolai Gogol's Inspector General
  • भाग्यवान (Bhagyawan) – 1953
  • तुझें आहे तुजपाशीं (Tujhe Ahe Tujapashi) – 1957
  • सुंदर मी होणार (Sundar Mi Honar) – 1958
  • पहिला राजा/आधे अधूरे (Pahila Raja/adhe Adhure) – 1976...based on Jagadish Chandra Mathur's Adhe Adhure
  • तीन पैशांचा तमाशा (Teen Paishancha Tamasha) – 1978...based on Bertolt Brecht's The Three Penny Opera'
  • ती फुलराणी (Ti Fulrani) – 1975...based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion
  • वाऱ्यावरची वरात (Varyavarchi Varaat)
  • एक झुंज वाऱ्याशीं (Eka Jhunja Waryashi) -1988... based on "The Last Appointment" By Vladin Dozortsev
  • वटवट वटवट (Vatvat Vatvat)  -1971

Children's plays[edit]

  • वयं मोठं खोटं (Wayam Motham Khotam) – 1956
  • नवे गोकुळ (Nawe Gokul) – 1958

Books (Humour)[edit]

  • नस्ती उठाठेव (Nasti Uthathev) – 1952
  • बटाट्याची चाळ (Batatayachi Chal) – 1958
  • गोळाबेरीज (Golaberij) – 1960
  • असा मी असामी (Asa Mi Asami) – 1964
  • ह(फ)सवणूक (Ha(pha)sawanuk) – 1968
  • उरलं सुरलं (Urala surala)  – 1999
  • पुरचुंडी (Purchundi)  – 1999
  • मराठी वाङ्मयाचा (गाळीव) इतिहास (Marathi Wangmayacha Galeev Itihas)  – 1994 (first published in 1967)
  • अघळपघळ (Aghalpaghal) – 1998
  • खोगीरभरती (Khogir Bharati) – 1949
  • खिल्ली (Khilli ) – 1984
  • कोट्याधीश पु. ल. (Kotyadhish Pu La.) – 1994

Books (Travelogues)[edit]

  • वंगचित्रे (Vangachitre) – 1974
  • अपूर्वाई (Apoorvai) – 1960
  • पूर्वरंग (Poorvarang) -1963
  • जावे त्यांच्या देशा (Jaave Tyanchya Desha) – 1974

Books (Translations)[edit]

  • काय वाट्टेल ते होईल (Kay Wattel Te Hoeel) – 1962...translation of Helen and George Papashvily's Anything Can Happen
  • एका कोळीयाने (Eka Koliyane) – 1965...translation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea
  • कान्होजी आंग्रे (Kanhoji Angre)(Translation of English novel "Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre" by Manohar Malgoankar)
  • पोरवय (Porawaya)  –1995... translation of "Chhelebela" By Ravindranath Tagore

Biography[edit]

  • गांधीजी (Gandhiji) – 1970

Books (Life Sketches)[edit]

  • गणगोत (Ganagot) – 1966
  • गुण गाईन आवडी (Guna Gaeena Awadi) – 1975
  • मैत्र (Maitra) )  – 1989
  • आपुलकी (Apulaki) ) – 1998

Other Books[edit]

  • व्यक्ती आणि वल्ली (Wyakti Ani Walli) – 1966
  • एक शून्य मी (Ek Shunya Mee)
  • चित्रमय स्वगत (Chitramay Swagat)
  • पु. ल : एक साठवण (Pu. La. : Ek Sathawan)  – 1979
  • दाद (Daad)
  • द्विदल (Dwidal)
  • चार शब्द (Char Shabd)
  • मुक्काम शांतिनिकेतन
  • रवीन्द्रनाथ : तीन व्याख्याने (Ravindranath : Teen Wyakhyane)
  • टेलिफोनचा जन्म (Teliphonacha Janma)

Humorous Essays[edit]

  • गच्चीसह झालीच पाहिजे (Gacchisah Zalich Pahije)
  • एका रविवारची सकाळ (Eka Rawiwarchi Sakaal)
  • माझे शहरी जीवन (Maze Shahari Jeevan)
  • बिगरी ते मॅट्रिक (Bigari Te Matric)
  • मुंबईकर, पुणेकर का नागपूरकर? (Mumbaikar, Punekar Ka Nagpurkar?)
  • म्हैस (Mhais)
  • मी आणि माझा शत्रुपक्ष (Mi Ani Majha Shatrupaksha)
  • पाळीव प्राणी (Paliv Prani)
  • पानवाला (Panwala)
  • काही नवे ग्रहयोग (Kahi Nave Grahayog)
  • माझे पोष्टिक जीवन (Majhe Poshtik Jeewan)

Popular Fictional Characters[edit]

  • पेस्तन काका (Pestan Kaka)
  • हरी तात्या (Hari Tatya)
  • सखाराम गटणे (Sakharam Gatane)
  • नामू परीट (Namu Parit)
  • नारायण (Narayan)
  • अंतू बर्वा (Antu Barva)
  • भय्या नागपूरकर (Bhayya Nagpurkar)
  • नाथा कामत (Natha Kamat)
  • चितळे मास्तर (Chitale Master)


Some of the above characters first appeared in various periodicals at different times. But later all of them were combined into and released as a single book titled व्यक्ती आणी वल्ली (Vyakti ani Valli).

One-man stage shows[edit]

  • बटाट्याची चाळ (Batatyachi Chaal)
  • असा मी असामी (Asa Mi Asami)
  • हसविण्याचा माझा धंदा (Hasawinyacha Majha Dhanda)
  • वा-यावरची वरात (Waryawarachi Warat) – A large part of this play is one man show.

Books (Collection of Speeches)[edit]

  • रसिकहो!
  • सुजनहो!
  • मित्र हो!
  • श्रोते हो!
  • रेडियोवरील भाषणे व श्रुतिका (भाग एक व दोन)

Movies[edit]

  • कुबेर (Kuber) – 1947: Actor and Playback Singer
  • भाग्यरेषा (Bhagyaresha) – 1948: Actor and Playback Singer
  • वंदेमातरम् (Wandemataram) – 1948: Actor and Playback Singer
  • जागा भाड्याने देणे आहे (Jaga Bhadyane Dene ahe) – 1949: Writer of Screenplay and Dialogues
  • मानाचे पान (Manache Pan) – 1949:  – Writer of Story, Screenplay, and Dialogues; and Co-Music Director in collaboration with Ga Di Madgulkar
  • मोठी माणसे (Mothi Manase) – 1949: Music Director
  • गोकुळचा राजा (Gokulacha Raja) – 1950: Writer of Story, Screenplay, and Dialogues
  • जरा जपून (Jara Japoon) – 1950: Writer of Screenplay and Dialogues
  • जोहार मायबाप (Johar Maybap) – 1950: Actor
  • नवरा बायको (Nawara Bayako) – 1950: Music Director and Writer of Story, Screenplay, and Dialogues
  • ही वाट पंढरीची (Hi Wat Pandharichi) – 1950: Actor
  • पुढचे पाऊल (Pudhache Paool) – 1950: Actor and Writer of Screenplay and Dialogues in collaboration with Ga Di Madgulkar
  • वर पाहिजे (War Pahije) – 1950: Actor and Writer of Screenplay and Dialogues in collaboration with Achyut Ranade
  • देव पावला (Dewa Pawala) – 1950: Music Director
  • दूध भात (Doodh Bhat) – 1952: Music Director and Writer of Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, and Lyrics
  • घरधनी (Ghardhani) – 1952: Music Director and Writer of Screenplay, Dialogues, and Lyrics
  • नवे बिर्हाड (Nawe Birhad) – 1952: Writer of Story and Screenplay
  • माईसाहेब (Maisaheb) – 1952: Music Director and Writer of Screenplay and Dialogues
  • संदेश (Sandesh) [in Hindi] – 1952: Writer of Story, Screenplay, and Dialogues (translated by Mir Asgar Ali)
  • देवबाप्पा (Dewabappa) – 1952: Music Director and Writer of Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, and Lyrics
  • गुळाचा गणपती (Gulacha Ganapati) – 1953: Director, Music Director, actor, and Writer of Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, and Lyrics
  • फूल और कलियाँ (Phool Aur Kaliyan) [in Hindi] – 1960: Story writer
  • आज और कल (Aaj aur Kal) [in Hindi] – 1966: Story writer
  • चिमणराव गुंड्याभाऊ (Chimanarao Gundyabhau) – : Narrator
  • एक होता विदूषक (Ek Hota Vidushak) – 1993: Screenplay and Dialogues

Plots of plays[edit]

सुंदर मी होणार (Sundar Mi Honar)[edit]

The play highlights the struggle of a middle-age woman who is unable to walk because of an ailment. She is a daughter of a King or Zamindar of a small, princely state in India. The play captures the conflict between her father and her brothers, and depicts changes in their lives after the British Raj took over their princely state. A poet, who is a pen friend of the protagonist, helps her gain confidence which enables her to start walking again.

तुझे आहे तुजपाशी (Tujhe ahe Tujapashi)[edit]

The play casts criticism on authoritarian religious leaders and depicts the positive and colorful view of life and generous spirit of a character in the play, which is in stark contrast to that of another character, an authoritarian religious leader. In the end, the latter recognizes the shallowness of his life.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Social work[edit]

Pu La Deshpande donated and participated in several social causes. He preferred adding the name "Muktangan" to any cause he donated to. Some of his prominent philanthropic involvements are as below

  • Seed donation to Muktangan Deaddiction and Rehabilitation Center[5]
  • Donation to IUCAA Muktangan Vidnyan Shodhika[6]
  • Donation to Neehar, a hostel for the children of prostitutes[7]
  • Donation for closed-door auditorium and an open theatre for the blind students at Baba Amte's Anandvan[7]
  • Supporter of Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for Eradication of Superstitions), promoting cultivation of scientific temperament

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stamps 2002". http://postagestamps.gov.in/. Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India. Retrieved 31 March 2016.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ P. L. (PuLa) Deshpande Biography
  3. ^ PTI (12 June 2000). "Pu La Deshpande passes away". Indian Express. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Madaan, Neha (27 July 2011). "Pune: 19,000 addicts on the road to recovery". The Times of India – Pune. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pulastya – IUCAA's Children's Science Centre". SciPop IUCAA. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "P L Deshpande as a philanthropist". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar
Marathi Sahitya Sammelan – President
1974 Ichalkaranji
Succeeded by
Durga Bhagwat

[1]