It has been two weeks since I’ve been listening to him and let me tell that you these two weeks turned to almost 2 months of daily listening and I still can’t get enough of him. The amount of musical genius, Mr. Mohanty or Khokha Bhai (as known to his loved ones) holds is tremendously huge. Figures can be found online but I decided to write this blog about some particular songs which really touched my heart and a small story I heard about him.
But before that let me start with a quick brief about the Godfather of Odia Music himself. He was born in Bankimundai, Kendrapara on 12th of October 1937. A Simple man with no formal training in music and tired of working in a government job, he decided to quit in 1963 to pursue his dream of making music.
When I began the search to buy some of his music I already knew a couple of his songs and the most influential for me has been “Jajabara” and also “Bapa thile jane mankada”.
Now here’s a quick tip – His music is not for the uninitiated. Do not expect all of the digitally enhanced mumbo-jumbo. This is strictly old school. You might get even ridiculed but don’t back down. This music is wonderful for that afternoon when you are alone. His music is divine and to take in the whole pheel of the song, listen to it alone. Play “He Fagune Tume” for a lazy afternoon or listen to “Bada Hairana” for just a fun-filled quickie or even “Macha Hela Kata” for that Cuttacki girl you want to impress (I will try to learn it for my wife). I am definitely playing “Cuttacki Sandhya” for my Cuttacki friends this time when I am in India.
These songs take me back and now I feel like kicking myself for playing Frisbee with some of his records when I was a kid.
I love the way he weaves a story with his music. And his reference to food is very Odia. Makes you want to take the next flight to Odisha or if in Odisha just get off and get a bite. He made songs for every mood. There were songs for the heart-broken too, like Tameta Asila Nahin and Prema Kemiti Hue.
And for the naughty boys there is definitely and a must listen called “Mora Ta Minitika Prema“. Also listen to “Sahira Piley” for an adorable song about a cute couple.The last lines are really awesome. “Mita Das” is a quirky song about a girl named the same which sounds very familiar. “Nali Ranga Kurta” is a nice acoustic song.
Well I don’t know how many of you people out there have actually have listened to him in your younger days but I did not and yet I’ve have been trying to listen to more and more of him. His lyrics are simple, fun and adorable to listen to. Although I haven’t had the chance to ever meet the man, I did meet someone who met him in the US and the gentleman told me that Mr. Mohanty was a gem who was a rock star in his own terms.The man usually started his afternoon with beer and pakhala (Aerated Rice).
Anyway, While winding this up I would really want to say that every Odia must listen to his music and I am sure not one of you would be disappointed. It is time for me to head home with a swagger in my step and happiness in my heart and all I can hum is “ Kabat Khola Priye”
This article is dedicated to Akshaya Mohanty, A composer,songwriter and a singer. This is our small tribute to the man and his tunes that invoke happiness in the hearts of many Odias’ across the globe.
Article By : Subhayou Nayak