Google Doodle is celebrating the 101st birthday of legendary Indian writer, playwright, musician, composer, actor, director and philanthropist. Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, who is also known as ‘Pu La’.
P L Deshpande is a renowned name known for his signature style of joyful humor and satire. Deshpande brought smiles to the faces of countless readers and audiences with his multifaceted contributions to Marathi literature and the performing arts.
The Google doodle on P L Deshpande 101 birth anniversary is designed by Mumbai-based guest artist Sameer Kulavoor. On being asked about why was illustrating P L Deshpande meaningful to him, Sameer said, ”Being born and brought up in Mumbai/Maharashtra, one comes across Pu La Deshpande’s name and works constantly in popular culture – music, writing, films, theatre, literature, and more. He was known to be a sharp observer of life, and one can see that in his literary work. There is a wildly popular Marathi song we were exposed to as kids in school called ‘Naach re mora’ (dance peacock, dance) – I learnt much later (to my surprise) that he composed the song!”
Talking about the inspiration drawn from the doodle, Sameer said that he took reference from the song ‘Naach re Mora’, and his colourful persona.
Purushottam Laxman Deshpande was born on this day in 1919 in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. He earned a master’s degree and served as a college lecturer before he began to pursue a career in music. A master of the harmonium (also known as the reed organ), he played as an accompanist for acclaimed vocal artists of the day and released his own hit recordings as well. But music was far from Deshpande’s only creative talent, and in the late 1940s, his writing premiered in Bombay magazine.
In the 1990s, Deshpande and his wife established a philanthropic foundation in his name which in the years since has carried on his positive legacy through the promotion of a variety of social and cultural causes.
Happy birthday, P. L. Deshpande, and thank you for sharing your humor and harmony with the people of Maharashtra and beyond.