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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
‘Ravan Of The Big Screen’- B.M.Vyas
‘Ravan Of The Big
A tribute on his 92nd birth anniversary !!!
Translated from original Hindi to English by :
All old pictures provided by : Shri Pranay Vyas
Posters provided by : Shri S.M.M.Ausaja
Video edited by : Shri Manaswi Sharma
this six feet tall, physically fit actor used to mouth dialogues in his orotund
voice on stage facing the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, the auditorium echoed
with applause. People would leave the auditorium humming his songs. He left his
home in Churu District of Rajasthan when he was called to Mumbai by his elder
brother, Bharat Vyas. Though he wanted to be a playback singer in films, he
eventually became an actor as destined.
Mohan Vyas, commonly known as B. M. Vyas says, “I was interested in music and
singing since childhood.I am a Shastri
[B.A. (Honours)] in Sanskrit. In early 1940’s, my brother asked me to come to
Mumbai. When I reached here, I started taking singing classes at ‘Deodhar
Sangeet Vidyalaya’ near Opera House. Around the same time, I sang twenty songs
in the Rajasthani play ‘Ramu Chanana’. Lyricist Pandit Indra heard my songs and
introduced me to owners of ‘Ranjit Movietone’, ‘Sardar Chandulal Shah’ &
‘Gauhar Jaan’ and I was given the opportunity to sing for the film
Chandulal Shah’s film ‘Bhartrihari’ made in 1944 under the banner of ‘Naveen
Pictures’ was directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi. The lead cast included names like -
Surendra, Mumtaz Shanti and Arun Ahuja. For this film B. M. Vyas sang the song
‘alakh niranjan, jai jai jai manaranjan’ written by Pandit Indra, under the
music direction of Khemchand Prakash. Picturized on Arun Ahuja, this song was very popular at that time.
he sang songs for films like ‘Naulakha Haar’ under the music direction of
R.C.Boral and ‘Maharana Pratap’ under the music direction of Ram Ganguli. He
sang the famous group song ‘hindustaan ke hain hum hindustaan hamara’ with
Rafi, Shyam Kumar and *Alauddin (*reference : Naushad’s filmography by Vishwas
Nerurkar) for the film ‘Pehle Aap’ made in 1944.
M. Vyas says “I became an actor by chance. I was recruited in Prithvi Theater
as a singer but Prithviraj Kapoor was impressed with my knowledge of Sanskrit
and offered me the role of Kanva Rishi in their first play, ‘Shakuntala’. With
this play my acting career took off.” B. M. Vyas was part of Prithvi Theatre
for eleven years. During that period he not only played important character in
plays like ‘Deewar’, ‘Pathan’, ‘Gaddaar’, ‘Ahuti’ and ‘Paisa’ but was also
actively involved in their music department.
M. Vyas says “In that era the music industry was going through a change due to
the entry of newcomers in the field. With increasing acting commitments my
singing career took a back seat. Around mid-40s Prithvi Theatre’s manager
Ramesh Sehgal left the theatre group and joined Chetan Anand’s company ‘India
Pictures’. The company was busy with their first venture ‘Neecha Nagar’. On
Ramesh Sehgal’s recommendation I was chosen to play the part of Kamini
Kaushal’s elder brother. Actress Johra Sehgal played my wife. With this film
released in 1946, my acting career in films took off. Since I never planned my
acting career, I took any role that came my way and soon got recognition as a
M. Vyas played the father of various leading artists onscreen like Nargis in
‘Barsaat’ and ‘Awara’, Meena Kumari in ‘Baiju Bawra’ and Shammi Kapoor in
‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’. He was highly appreciated for his performance as the
prisoner in V.Shantaram’s famous film ‘do ankhein barah haath’ and as Chanakya
in ‘Samrat Chandragupt’. His role as Ravan in the successful film ‘Sampoorna
Ramayan’ (1961) became so famous that he was flooded with offers to act in
mythological films. Soon he became an integral part of films made by
producer-director Homi Wadia who was famous for making mythological, historical
and fantasy films under him banner ‘Basant Pictures’. After acting in close to
200 films, B.M.Vyas quit acting in the early 1990s after the release of films
like ‘Maa’ and ‘Daulat Ki Jung’.
of six daughters and one son, B. M. Vyas lost his wife in December 2008. In
2009 he moved to Kalyan, an eastern suburb of Mumbai after selling his bungalow
in Juhu. Born in the year 1920 in Churu (Rajasthan), B. M. Vyas turned 92 on 22
October this year. Though his body reflects his age, it is comforting to see
that he still retains the freshness in his voice and memory.
Acknowledgements : We are thankful to Shri Harmandir
Singh ‘Hamraz’, Shri Harish Raghuvanshi, Shri Biren Kothari and Shri
S.M.M.Ausaja for their valuable suggestions, guidance and help.
Special thanks to Shri B.M.Vyas ji’s grandson Shri
Pranay Vyas for providing his old pictures and to Maitri Manthan for the
English translation of the write up.
Shri B.M.Vyas ji passed away peacefully at his Kalyan residence today i.e. on 11th March 2013 at 7.30 AM. Team "beete Hue Din"s heartfelt condolences.