He was popularly known as G.R. Santosh and was a prominent Kashmiri painter and poet. His subjects and themes were inspired by Kashmir Shaivism. He was born in a modest Muslim family in old Srinagar. After the death of his father, he was dropped out of school and took odd jobs such as writing, painting signboards, weaving silk, and whitewashing walls.
In 1954, he won the scholarship to study art under painter N.S. Bendre in Broda, Gujarat. He studied tantric art and Kashmir Shaivism in the 1960s. He adopted these styles in his paintings and created some of the best examples of modern paintings. Vibrant colors, neat lines, spiritual energy, and sensuousness are the main parts in his paintings.
In 1969, his paintings were exhibited in the Sao Paulo Art Biennial. University of California, Los Angeles exhibited his paintings in 1985. He also wrote poetry, essays, plays as well. He was one of the authorities on Kashmiri Shaivism. He is one of the few people who could read and write the ancient and almost extinct Kashmiri script called Sharda.
He was married to the Santosh a Kashmiri Pundit.
Vikash Kalra is a self-taught artist & writer based in New Delhi whose work has been exhibited across India and is held in several private and corporate collections.