Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Archive for the ‘B M Vyas NFS’ Category


This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

5056 Post No. : 16970

Today’s song is a special song. It is special because it is sung by an almost unimaginable actor who was a famous villain and we could never imagine that he would have sung a solo song and a record was brought out for that song ! But then life is like that only. It has routinely presented surprises, shocks, puzzles and inconceivable situations. That’s why LIFE is interesting ! Speaking about show business, it is all the more pertinent. There are umpteen number of cases where men became actors when it was not planned and from actors they went into something totally different, unconnected activity. Let us see some examples.

Is it not a game of Fortune, when an ordinary Laboratory Technician becomes a famous and popular actor overnight and is known as Ashok Kumar ? How does one explain the conversion of a choreographer, trained by Uday Shankar, for the film Lakharani-1945 into famous director Guru Dutt ? Hari Shivdasani started as a film director with Yasmin-1935, but became an actor in 110 films. Motilal-a Navy aspirant and a casual onlooker of a shooting is invited to directly become a Hero and for next 31 years became a popular actor. Likewise Ramnarayan Venkatraman Sastry who was an M.Sc.,Ph.D. in Physics, knew 12 Indian and 4 Foreign languages, who edited a Dance and Drama Magazine, who earned a Fellowship of New York University, A grade Flier, Swimmer, Painter, a trained magician, Shooter, A.I.R. Singer and who was invited by European and American Universities for giving lectures, one fine morning was invited and became a Tamil Film Hero in 1941. He was named Ranjan and acted in 58 Hindi films, wrote film stories like Munimji-1955 and did Choreography.

The Film Industry is replete with other side examples too – like how successful actors left films and did something totally different… like Shashi Kapoor Sr. who left a blooming film career as a Child artiste of 21 films, did M.Sc.Ph.D and became a Mathematics professor in an American University. The case of Ashraf Khan is too weird to be believed. He was an actor-singer in 31 films and 59 songs, left films and became a Sufi Saint ! Mukund Rai Trivedi- one of the Frank- Rai pair of Music Directors left films, joined family beusiness of Mining, became a Billionaire and a Lok Sabha M.P. Madholal Master left films after 34 films as an MD and purued his hobby of making Puppets. He became internationally famous and was honoured by the international Puppetary Association. His ” JOKER ” puppet was used by Raj kapoor in film Mera Naam Joker. Saigal was a Typewriter salesman before becoming a singer-actor.

In these examples add one more name B. M. VYAS. The famous villain of 174 films was a stage drama actor, a singer and a Music Teacher to Mahendra Kapoor and his brother, to start with. He was a trained musician and singer. Today’s song is sung by him for the Drama ” Deewar”- staged by Prithvi Theatres in 1945. Let us take a look at his journey from a singer to a villain….

Actor Brij Mohan aka B.M.Vyas was one artiste who started as a singer, became a drama actor and then ended up as a villain, character actor. B.M.Vyas was born as Brijmohan Vyas on Vijayadashami (22 October) day of 1920 in Churu, Rajasthan. He is the younger brother of the well-known poet and lyricist, Bharat Vyas. He was married at the age of 17 when his wife, Jamna was just 11. They had 71 years of marital bliss before Jamna passed away in 2008. They had six daughters and a son. After acting in over 200 films in various languages, Vyas quit acting in the early 1990s. Then he moved to his residence in Kalyan. Having seen various shades of life, Vyas lived a contented life with his children and grandchildren.

On 15 January, 1944, actor Prithviraj Kapoor realised his dream when Prithvi Theatre, his own drama company came into being. Mahakavi Kalidas’ classic Shakuntala was chosen to be their first performance. The play’s cast included Uzra Mumtaz (younger sister of Zohra Segal) to play Shakuntala, Prithviraj Kapoor to play Dhushyant, K N Singh was cast as Rishi Kanva, Shakuntala’s foster father, Sati Devi (Bijoya Ray’s sister, Ruma Guha Thakurta’s mother) as Gautami, caretaker of Kanva Ashram who raises Shakuntala, and Hemavati (Daya Kishan Sapru’s wife) to play Shakuntala’s friend Priyamvada, among others. A young, 24 years old, B M Vyas was recruited as a singer by the drama company to sing songs in their play at a monthly salary of 75 Rupees.

Once when rehearsals for their maiden show were in progress and Vyas was done with his singing rehearsals, he was watching rehearsals of the cast. One of his songs for the play was “Bitiya Rani Kahan Kahan Tapasvi Log, Milna Julna Rehgaya Nadi Naav Sanjog”. The cast was rehearsing for a scene which needed Rishi Kanva to recite a mantra in Sanskrit, but actor K N Singh was having trouble reciting it. Prithviraj was trying to help him but was also faltering in saying it perfectly. Vyas , an expert in Hindi and Sanskrit, having immense knowledge of Ved Mantra was witnessing the proceedings for two days. It was possibly the blessing of Goddess Saraswati that inspired him to say the mantra aloud. On hearing him intone the mantra with such Brahminical precision, Prithviraj was very impressed and asked him to help K N Singh in saying the mantra correctly. But soon K N Singh informed Prithviraj ji that he will not be able to speak Devbhasha (Sanskrit) and that he should look for another artiste for the role. Prithviraj asked Prithvi Theatre’s manager Ramesh Saigal to approach Vyas for the role. Vyas , who had already acted in a Rajasthani play Ramu Chanana earlier, readily agreed and stepped into the role and thus started his journey as an actor.

While the rehearsals were still on, Vyas suffered a personal tragedy and had to go back home in Bikaner, Rajasthan. There he fell sick with typhoid. Here rehearsals were in full swing as the play was to premiere on 9 March, 1945 at the Royal Opera House. The final date was about a month away so Prithviraj asked him to come back as soon as possible. Vyas returned with his wife though he was still unwell. On the day he resumed his rehearsals he couldn’t do much due to frequent blackouts. The medication he was on did not seem to help him much. He remembers the doctor from Kalbadevi who treated him for free; with his medication, Vyas ji’s health improved considerably in just three days.

The final round of rehearsals was done and finally the day of Prithvi Theatre’s first play to be staged, arrived. For the first performance of Shakuntala, many known names of the film industry were present at Royal Opera House. In the scene where Rishi Kanva makes an entry on stage he was required to raise his hands for blessing but Vyas was still weak and his hands started shaking. He tried a lot to control them but to no avail. He then remembered that he had seen many old people whose hands and heads would involuntarily shake, so he started to shake his head too. The end result was so effective that during the play’s interval Prithviraj came and hugged him. He asked him how he developed that body language, Vyas told him about his genuine problem. Prithiviraj told him that he did a wonderful job and should continue with the same every time the play was staged.

Vyas had a long association with Prithvi Theatre, from 1944 to 1955. During this period he toured with the group to various cities and got an opportunity to showcase his singing and acting skills in various plays like – Deewar, Pathan, Aahuthi, Gaddar, Kalaakar, etc.

After Vyas joined Prithvi Theatre as a singer, he had to do regular riyaz at home. A music teacher who often heard him sing once asked if he would be willing to give music tuitions. Since his monthly salary was 75 Rupees then, Vyas agreed as this would give him additional income. The teacher took him to meet Jaichand Kapoor and soon Vyas started giving music tuitions to his elder son, Brijmohan. However his younger brother seemed more inclined and started learning music from Vyas . This youngster was none other than our legendary playback singer, Mahendra Kapoor who always acknowledged that B M Vyas was his first Guru.

Vyas had been interested in music since childhood. He is a self-taught singer. In the early 1940s Bharat Vyas called his younger brother to Mumbai. Soon Vyas ji got the opportunity to act and sing as many as twenty songs for the Rajasthani play Ramu Chanana written by Bharat . Music Director Naushad Sahab’s assistant Ghulam Muhammad who hailed from Rajasthan was very impressed when he heard Vyas’s voice in the play. He took him to meet Naushad Sahab who was working on the soundtrack of the film Pehle Aap (1944). Vyas got an opportunity to sing a group song “Hindustan Ke Hum Hain, Hindustan Hamara; Hindu Muslim Dono Ki Aakhon Ka Tara” with established singers G. M. Durrani and Shyam Kumar along with a new singer Mohammed Rafi. Since this song was supposed to be sung by soldiers on screen, Vyas and Rafi Sahab had to wear heavy boots and do a rhythmic march while singing to give an effect of an army troop. Such effects could not be added to a song with the technology available then; it all had to be done in real time. However the first ever song Vyas sang for a film was “Alakh Niranjan, Jai Jai Jai Manaranjan” from Bhartrihari (1944) which was picturized on Arun Ahuja (Govinda’s father).

Vyas gave playback in four films – Bhartrihari (1944, MD: Khemchand Prakash), Pehle Aap (1944, MD: Naushad), Maharana Pratap (1946, MD: Ram Ganguli) and Naulakha Haar (MD: R C Boral) before destiny took him on a different path. He remembers meeting Rafi Sahab years later who sweetly said “Pandit ji you changed our line (singing)” to which Vyas admitted that he did not see much of a future for himself in singing and hence switched to acting.

After Prithvi Theatre’s first play Shakuntala was staged, Devika Rani (owner of Bombay Talkies) was keen to know who played Rishi Kanva. When she saw the 24 yrs old Vyas she was surprised, she never expected to see such a young man. She offered him a role in a Bombay Talkies film to be directed by actor Jairaj but the film was never made.

When Ramesh Saigal moved away from Prithvi Theatre, he joined Chetan Anand’s company India Pictures as Production Manager. They were working on their next film Neecha Nagar (1946) when Ramesh Saigal offered Vyas a small role (protagonist’s elder brother) in the film. Prithvi Theatre never laid any restrictions on their actors; they could take outside work while working in their plays. Vyas was eager to face the camera and accepted the role with open arms. He is credited as ‘Vyas ji’s in this film. Soon he played a small role in Raj Kapoor‘s Aag (1948) where he is credited as ‘Brijmohan’. But the role that gave him recognition in the film industry was in Barsaat (1949) where he played actress Nargis’ father. For this film he is credited as ‘B. M. Vyas’. Thus Vyas ji’s film career took off and he never looked back.

He has had a long and very successful career of more than four decades and has been part of many memorable classics. He has always been a character artist who started his career with portraying old characters. His last film most probably was Maa (1991).Vyas was very keen to work with the great filmmaker V Shantaram and approached him for work. Shantaram was planning Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) and was busy casting actors to play six prisoners in the film. He did not tell him that he is Bharat’s younger brother who was the lyricist of the film. When Vyas approached him, Shantaram was initially a bit apprehensive due to his height but soon cast him as one of the prisoners, Jalia Nai. They had a month-long schedule in Kolhapur. When the reels were sent to Rajkamal Studios for processing, it was found that due to dirt particles on the lens there were lines all across the frame in all the reels and the whole month’s hard work had gone to waste. They had to reshoot the entire thing. Vyas had a tough time managing schedules due to this re-shoot as he had other films in hand too. My favourite scene of this film is where Jalia comes with an intention to kill the Jailor played by Shantaram himself. That scene showcases Vyas’ ability as a performer, his entire body language, facial expressions, use of eyes and voice in this scene is a class act, beyond words.

About the classic scene from Sampoorna Ramayan (1961) Vyas said when he was offered the role of Ravan he was thrilled, being Shastri in Sanskrit he had read so much about this mythological character. Hence he was really keen to play the part but Ravan is expected to have a powerful physique while Vyas ji had a lean frame. To overcome this hurdle he got cotton padded clothing made for the role to look fuller. The rising temperature due to lights in addition to studio heat, he would sweat profusely in those cotton padded clothes but he did not let it hinder his performance. That innovative scene where Ravan is interacting with his nine heads was a collective brainchild of Babubhai Mistry and Homi Wadia. Vyas had to enact from a fixed position in front of a stationary camera for fifteen days but the end result was very effective.

B M Vyas acted in 175 films. His first film was Neecha Nagar-46 and last film was Oh,Darling ! yeh hai India-95. Vyas ji left for a better world on 11 March, 2013. (Adapted from articles from Maitri Manthan and Blog beete hue din, with thanks.)

This is the second song from the drama Deewar-45. The first was sung by Raj kapoor, but since this was sung by an unexpected actor singer, I thought our Blog must have this song also.


Song- Iss andheri raat mein (B M Vyas NFS)(1945) Singer- B. M. Vyas, Lyricist- Saraswati Kumar Deepak, MD- Ram Ganguli

Lyrics

Iss andheri raat mein
aansuon ki barsaat mein
kaun hai mera
Iss andheri raat mein
aansuon ki barsaat mein
kaun hai mera
????? mera
bhookha hoon main
pyaasa hoon main
???
aas dikha jaa ke raaja
???
aas dikha jaa ke raaja
???

—————————-
andar aajaao bhai
nahin baba main andar na aaunga
kyon

main ?? leka padta hai
maalik

yahaan de jaao
nahin to ?? bhook se kaat chuka hoon

—————————–

Iss andheri raat mein
aansuon ki barsaat mein
kaun hai mera
aas dikha jaa ke raaja
???


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