Born in the small village of Bodka, Gujarat on May 26, 1904, Hariprasad Vyas was a humorist, poet, and playwright, most well known for his children’s stories depicting “Bakor Patel” and his escapades in daily life.
He passed Matric (S.S.C.) in 1921 and soon after started working for Zenith Life Insurance Company in 1925. Shortly after starting working at Zenith, he started writing short stories and articles for children and adults. By 1932, he had created a character Bakor Patel that was a goat in human form. Bakor Patel’s family and friends included his wife Shakri Patlani, Kushal Doshi (a servant squirrel) and Vaghajibhai Vakil (a lawyer tiger friend) among others. Each tale described the encounters of Bakor Patel and provided a moral or life lesson, in a humorous way; and stories were often pulled from his own personal experiences. These anecdotes were published in a children’s magazine, the Gandiv. In all, 26 volumes of Bakor Patel were published. The character became famous and immortal, and his stories still remain popular today.
Vyas didn’t limit his writings to children; he also wrote for the masses. Over the span of 40 years, he authored several humor books, natak (plays), and bhavai (folk theatre). He addressed political and socio-economic issues of the time, and served as an article editor for Sandesh and Mahila Jagat. He wrote about current political and social issues by incorporating them in satirical articles and stories. His short mystery story, “Kanuno Andhar Pichodo”, was published in Ramakadu with much accolade. Vyas' play “Vismi Sadi” received an award from the Gujarat Mahiti Department and another was dramatized on All India Radio in Ahmedabad. His other works included popular characters of Bhejabaj Bhagabhai, Hathishankar Dhamdhamiya, Pashakaka, Bhotvashankar, Lambodar Sharma, and Gundar Sundar.
On a personal note, he had two children from his wife Sudhaben, who passed away during birth of their second child. He remarried, and his second wife Ansuyaben had three children. They both travelled to the United States in 1979 to visit their youngest son. After approximately a year Vyas passed away in July of 1980.