THEATRE IN BIKANER HAS BRIGHT FUTURE: NIRMOHI VYAS
Nirmohi Vyas is an eminent theatre personality of the state. Founder of Anurag Kala Kendra, Vyas has several roles to play including that of an actor, director and writer. He has presented over hundred plays through his organization and remains the lone recipient of two awards from the Rajasthan Sahitya Academy, Udaipur and Rajasthani Bhasha, Sahitya even Sanskriti Academy, Bikaner. Devoted to theatre, Vyas has been honored in February, 1942 on his completion of four decades in theatre world. The Bikaner district administration, Rao Bikaji Sansthan, Sankar Bharati and several other organizations have honored him. Vyas speaks to RealBikaner.Com about his association with theatre.
How did your drama journey begin?
Nirmohi Vyas: Way back in 1951, when I was a 17 year old student, I went to participate in a scouting ‘jamuree’ held at Sanganer, Jaipur. It was there I played a role in the drama called ‘Insaan’ witch was written by me. Conveying the message of humanity, it was greatly appreciated by the scouts and I felt encouraged. The headmaster of my school was pleased with me. He used to lift up my spirits by giving me opportunities for acting. Thus my acting journey began in 1953, I was appointed a schoolteacher in Seruna village where I continued acting.
How did Anurag Kala Kendra come into being? What difficulties did it face initially?
Nirmohi Vyas: I formed Anurag Kala Kendra way back in 1957 with the help of literary and theatre personalities as Dhananjay Verma, character actor Rajdeep, Ramsshkant and Mukund Murari Bansiwala. Later on, the famous novelist and script writer Advocate Shrigopal Acharya was made its president. We had our share of problem. Women for female characters were difficult to come by. So I wrote dramas sans female characters. Soon then it made its image as a sincere theatre organization and girls from respectable families began to join us. It was of course an achievement we had through our continuous dedication.
Your association with theatre spans five decades, how did it influence your family?
Nirmohi Vyas: My family not just likes theatre but many of them are actors. My son, Sudhesh has bagged an award from the CM for his histrionics. He was twice honored with national level best artiste award. My younger son, Rupesh is a theatre critic and contributes articles and theatre reviews in leading newspapers. Daughter Vinita is a recipient of the best first child artist award. My nephew, Kamal is an actor–director. My grand daughter, Shrishthi is a born actress and I encourage her a lot.
The construction of Ravindra Rangmanch began with a great fanfare and it rekindled theatre–lovers hopes, but now it lies in a neglected state. What efforts have been made by Anurag to re-start its construction?
Nirmohi Vyas: The Anurag Kala Kendra is and active member of the Umbrella organization, the coordination committee and we have, on common dais, raised our demand to restart its construction. We have staged several ‘dharnas’. Our delegations have met scores of visiting VIPs, big officers and ministers, including chief minister Ashok Gehlot. I hope the UIT chairman Somchandji Singhvi will give foremost priority to our case. I have personally spoken to Kallaji, the local MLA and Cabinet Minister, and he has assured me that he would not disappoint us. I am quite convinced that Kallaji will definitely cooperate Us. I wish to see Ravindra Rangmanch before I die.
What future do you foresee for theatre in Bikaner?
Nirmohi Vyas: The future of the Bikaner theatre is promising. Bikaner abounds with talented artistes. If any NSD – trained director come to polish their acting, they have potential to take the world by surprise. Though there is no dearth of talented actors in Bikaner, it is lack of technical facilities that negatively affects the quality of show. Town Hall and auditoriums in Medical College and Rajasthan Agriculture University are imperfect for drama as there is no proper light arrangement in these theatres. I am hopeful that the Ravindra Rangmanch will remove all these problems to make the theatre in Bikaner more popular. Theatre artists should play dramas in rural parts of the district. I am prepared to work, if the authorities cooperate. The State and Central governments should organize drama camps in the same way as the Jawahar Kala Kendra used to do in the past.