Pyarelal Shrivastava, known as P.L.Santoshi, was born on 7 August 1916, in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. He was a writer-director of Hindi films during the 1950s and 60s.
Santoshi made his debut in Bollwyood with the Dev Anand – Guru Dutt starrer Hum Ek Hain in 1946. The movie didn’t do too well. The following year, he made Shehnai (1947) with Kishore Kumar, which gained success.
Khidki (1948) was Santoshi’s next film, which failed to do well. He then made Sargam (1950) with Raj Kapoor, which was successful. After this he made a few films like Apni Chhaya (1950), Shin Shinaki Boobla Boo (1952), Chham Chhama Chham (1952), Chalis Baba Ek Chor (1953), Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1955), Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke (1957), Garma Garam (1957), and Pehli Raat (1959), all of which failed to do well at the box-office. Santoshi started losing hold on the industry.
In 1960, Santoshi directed Barsaat Ki Raat, starring Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala, which became a hit. After a spree of flop films, Santoshi could now breathe a sigh of relief. But Santoshi’s next few films also failed to click. Pyaar Ki Dastan (1961), Opera House (1961), and Holiday In Bombay (1963) didn’t do too well. Dil Hi To Hai (1963), starring Raj Kapoor and Nutan, also fell below averagedespite being a good entertainer. Santoshi directed Roop Rupaiya, which released in 1968. It was his last direction.
Santoshi also worked as a lyricist in many films. These included Pagal (1940), Akela (1941), Station Master (1942), Hum Ek Hain (1946), Sangram (1950),Saudagar (1951), Ghayal (1951), Anhoni (1952), Chalis Baba Ek Chor ( 1954), Dulhan (1958), and Holiday In Bombay (1963). As a screenplay/dialogue writer, Santoshi worked in Jhoola (1941), Station Master (1942), Nirala (1950), Post Box 999 (1958), Man Ki Aankhen (1970), and Saudagar (1973). P.L.Santoshi expired on 7 September 1978, in Bombay.
Director Raj Kumar Santoshi is his son.