Purushottam Lakshman Deshpande, popular known as P.L. Deshpande was a Marathi writer, author, music composer, musician, singer and orator. He was also known as “Maharashtrache Laadke Vyaktimatya” (Maharashtra’s beloved personality).
Deshpande was born on November 8, 1919, in Gaodevi in Mumbai. Later the family got settled in Pune. After completing his studies he learnt harmonium from Dottopant Rajopadhye and Hindustani classical music also.
A multi-talented personality and a prolific writer in all the genres, he has also translated some of the well known English works in Marathi for the Marathi readers. His translation work includes – Kaai Wattel Tey Hoil (Anything Can Happen by Helen and George Papashvily), Eka Koliyane (Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea), Tee Fulrani (George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion). His love for Rabindranath Tagore and his works brought him to Shantiniketan and learn Bangla. He even translated some of Tagore’s works in Marathi including Chhelebela (Por Vay in Marathi).
Before taking film and writing as a profession, Deshpande has also worked as a professor in Belgaum. He also worked in Doordarshan in 1959. Using his miming skills to the best of the effect, he read out short stories to the audience in a humorous manner.
He has received numerous awards including Sahitya Akademi Award (Marathi), Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, Punya Bhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree and Maharashtra Gaurawa Award.
Department of Post issued a 400 paisa (4 Rupees)postage stamp in memory of P.L. Deshpande to honour his contribution to Marathi literature.