Made in Odisha, Made for Bollywood

“What do you want to become when you grow up?” And most of them start screaming pre-defined options “Doctor,Engineer, Teacher,Lawyer”. But some condemned the norm of following the herd. They denied suppressing their passions and challenged the monotonous practices of the world. They echoed BOLLYWOOD..

By Jul 26,2012  34

“What do you want to become when you grow up?”

And most of them start screaming pre-defined options “Doctor,Engineer, Teacher,Lawyer”. But some condemned the norm of following the herd. They denied suppressing their passions and challenged the monotonous practices of the world. They echoed BOLLYWOOD. Some wanted to be Actors, some wanted to show their magic with cameras, some wanted to heal the world with their music. They had the fire in them. And they didn’t care if the world laughed at their face. Because they knew, that they are the ones who will have the last laugh!

This is a list of such people, who showed that they had it in them. They went all the way to Bollywood; earned a name and made Odisha Proud!

Sadhu Meher:

This man here is the one responsible for bringing Odisha on the map of Bollywood. With super hits like Ankur,  Gharaonda, Safed Haati and many others Sadhu Meher was considered as a brilliant actor during the 70s. No don’t go by our words. Check out who won the NATIONAL AWARD for THE BEST ACTOR in the year 1974. During those days getting into Bollywood was not a child’s play. It still isn’t. But during the 70s, when Bollywood itself was in the process of evolution, joining the main stream cinema as a protagonist and winning the National Award was beyond dreams for the ordinary man. But this gentleman, Sadhu Meher was extraordinary and he proved it!


Nandita Das:

This is a woman of substance from BARIPADA who has taken her Odia roots and planted it deep and strong in the tinsel town. She has been spectacular in contemporary acting and has won international commendation for her work. This multi-talented beauty, has done some fabulous work in Deepa Mehta movies Fire(1996), Earth(1998), and has under her belt a directorial debut, Firaaq! She, along with her grace and poise is here to stay. She’s all set to make Odisha, world famous!

Subash Sahoo:

Imagine our movies without the background music? Without the themes? It’s like having just plain rice. He adds tanginess to the movies and gives each scene his magical sound mixes! Subash Sahoo, has made us shake our legs in so many occasions. He, with his exceptional sound mixing and sound recording talent has bagged 2 National Awards for himself.  Our magician-who does magic with his sound , hails from KENDRAPADA.  He was working as an electronics and communications  engineer,when his passion called on him!  He went to give some of the most brilliant songs in bollywood history! Don’t believe me??? Remember Omkara? Kaminey? Khosla ka Ghosla? No? Okay, but you must have definitely tapped your feet Sultan Mirza style  to the tune played throughout Once upon a time in Mumbai!


Ramani ranjan Das:

Without his help,we wouldn’t have seen Aamir Khan’s brilliance in 3 idiots or  Agent Vinod’s intricately shot action scenes! How else,without his work with the cameras,  could Johnny Gadar’s ‘dark drama’  be shown to us? How else,without his magic, could we have captured in our minds the solid Gandhigiri  depicted in Lage Raho Munna Bhai?  He has spent a major part of his life as a student in Sainik School, Bhubaneswar. He’s the first assistant cameraman for many such movies and is highly respected member of the technical fraternity of Bollywood!



Chandrachur Singh:

It took a little while to digest that the handsome Macho in Maachis is an Odia guy!  Chandrachur,who belongs to  Bolangir has made us proud in more than one occasion. Daag:The fire, Josh,  Kya Kehna, Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya and many more blockbusters had made this man a favourite among the directors during those days. Now, he has his latest one released, Chaar din ki Chaandni which was an average grosser in the box office. And a few more are lined up. With his sheer talent and ‘hunk’ looks he will regain his position back in Bollywood and will make us proud yet again!


Pitobash Tripathy:

Mandook made us laugh our hearts out in Shor In The City. He played a typical student in 3 idiots. In Shanghai, he was this innocent guy who gets affected with corruption, in Joker he has a role which is not disclosed as of now. Now that is variety! And hard to believe it might be, but this versatile actor who pocketed a black lady hails from a small village, Deuli . He is an alumnus from the Government High School, Unit 1, Bhubaneswar and is a senior college-mate to our readers from BJB college, Bhubaneswar! Now standing where he is, that’s an achievement sir!

Pitobash Tripathy

Krishna Beura:

Apart from Shah Rukh Khan’s charisma, and the last shot in the final hockey match, another thing stood out in Chak De India. A golden voice enchanted the audience with Maula mere lele meri jaan!  With the perfectly placed high-pitched notes and the soulful voice he possesses , Krishna does wonders! Main jahan rahoon from Namastey London, Zindagi mein koi kabhi from Musafir are some of his chartbusters! This superstar was born in Kushapangi, Banki, Cuttack! Being an Odia guy he sure carries that typical sweetness in his voice and the ride in his heart!


Sona Mohapatra: Give her a microphone and she’s ready to set the stage on fire! Here’s another heart throb who rules the hearts with her voice! Sweet, soothing and melodious her singing has earned her a huge fan following internationally. It’s hard to believe that like some of our readers here she also did khatti  in the CET campus, bunked lectures and relished dahi-bara aludum on the streets. Now here  is one Odia girl who has earned herself all this adulation and has given the world some of the most brilliant songs!


There are many more unsung heroes of Odisha in Bollywood ! This post is a salute to all of them.

Contributed By : Sourav Panda 
Sourav is an Intern at The Broken Scooter.



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  • Deepak

    AFAIK, Chandrachur Singh was born and bought up at Delhi. Its just that his mother was from a family in Bolangir.

    • Hey Deepak!
      You are completely correct. Actually, we were trying to highlight people who had their roots in Odisha. Chandrachur’s mom being from a culturally rich family does infuse into him all the essential Odia roots (both culturally and lingually). Thus, we mentioned him here,in the article.

      Thanks a lot for showing interest,

      • ha ha …are you kidding me…may be having some odiya roots spoilt his career and he is a c grade actor…. You can see yourself how much other states dominate the bollywood industry and see how pathetic is odissa’s status in the national image, be its politics, cricket or bollywood…

        • Satya

          Who is this YouSuck…I think he’s a sucked off poor chap Hindi Speaking Oriya who hates himself & orissa/oriyas…Or whos born from Non Oriya dad and Oriya Mom like C. Singh

          But I agree with fact that Chandrachud Singh is not pure oriya..he spent some crucial time in orissa, hence should be put in diff category….So is Mira Nair

          • dude…all your absurd assumptions have gone pathetically wayward…I am one of those who twice a day would google odisha development, odisha news, industrial growth in odisha, berhampur growth etc….nobody would be wishing the growth of the state more than me who does it even in his silent prayers…..I just want people to know where we stand and where we can grow..instead of being happy and proud with whatever meagre we have(yes, there is a famine of great things being done in the state than what is happening around the country), we would try really make the state proud. just feeling proud ourselves without the outside world not even knowing that a state called odisha exists does no better to the land…

    • Priyabrata

      absolutely correct. We have no notified position in bolywood bcz we are promt in copying other. We r showing that see we have too much positions also in bolywood. Bt in real we are just at downstairers

  • Just liked it…..

    • Hey Madhumita!

      Thanks for your valuable feedback! Will try and write better so that you ‘love’ them next time! 🙂


  • Palo Sachin

    really made in odisha is made for bollywood!!! i loved the article very much & thank you for such valuable info and iam proud to be an odia.

    Great work sourav keep it up!!!!!!!

  • Pankaj

    hey what about NILA MADHAB PANDA he is the in thing nowadays, i heard he is planning a movie with richard gere to be shot in newyork london mumbai and guess what BHUBANESWAR

    • Oh! We missed out on him? Darn! My apologies Pankaj! HE sure is a famous person who is leaving no stone unturned to bring laurels to Odisha! Really sorry again. Let me see if we could add up another article about him and some other people who have brought us fame!

  • Aditya Sahu

    Good to know! But the number isn’t much when compared to other states (considering the area and population – it’s like India in Olympics).

    • Yup Aditya,I know. We, at large, are still tyros in this field. And these people have done something remarkable,something worth promoting. Posting this would also be an attempt to inspire people ..and hopefully very soon there would be many such people. And maybe then, there could be a whole column dedicated to these heroes who are: Made in Odisha, and Made for Bollywood!! 🙂

      #hopes intact for that day.
      #fingers crossed for the London Olympics too!

      • Aditya Sahu

        Incidentally, I was watching few minutes of an Odia movie “Thank You Bhagaban” yesterday in some Odia channel, the whole moving making (sets, acting, direction, dialogues, almost everything) appeared so underdeveloped (I know about the budget thing). And this is not the case of just one movie….almost the whole Odia movie industry have miles to go…All the best to them! Probably, soon some more Odias will shine in the Indian film industry and make us proud!!!

  • interesting article.good background work,but could’ve been written/presented better

    • Dear Shashwat,
      Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestion. Will try and improve:)

  • odia

    chandrachur singh is only part odia from his mother’s side

    • Oh yeah! And that makes Odisha his ‘aai ghara’! 🙂 It has got to do with the Odia roots.. 🙂


  • Hello All,
    With the help of some of you(our beloved readers), we have found out some more people who have made it to BOLLYWOOD and have succeeded in bringing laurels to ODISHA. Some of them are:

    Mira Nair: This lady, my friends, has achieved some amazing feats! A long list of international awards besides a NATIONAL AWARD FOR THE BEST FEATURE FILM for the movie : SALAAM BOMBAY! ‘MONSOON WEDDING’ is another of her blockbuster movie. Born in ROURKELA, Mira has created a name for herself in the international arena. Her movies exhibit substance and are a treat for the viewers!

    Pritam Panda: No one can deny the fact that the attire the Bollywood actresses sport is unique. And it forms one big chunk of their glam-slash-celebrity quotient! Unknown to almost all of us, here is a magic boy, from BALASORE who makes actresses look beautiful! He is a fashion designer and has to his credit many awards for his work. His most popular achievement was when he won the WORLD CHOPARD YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD in 2010. He frequents his hometown during vacations and relishes
    Pakhaal Bhaat!

    Nila Madhab Panda: I thank God that our readers didn’t throttle me to death for missing out on this gentleman! NILA MADHAB PANDA, with his directorial genius,has given us some brilliant movies so far. I am Kalam and Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid are two of his blockbusters which have received international acclamation! Hard to believe, but this genius was once a kid roaming across streets of Dashrajpur in SONEPUR, ODISHA. With his sheer intellect and talent we are hoping to see more of his brilliance very soon.

    We love adding! 257+242=499. See? So, do pass on the names that you come across. The ones who have made or are making Odisha proud! We’ll ‘add’ them to our list of celebrities who are
    Made in Odisha but Made for Bollywood!

    • Papali Dash

      Mira Nair, Chandrachur Singh belong to Odisha!!! Had no idea about it al all… great to know…really informative post….Salute to everyone of them!!!

      • Hi Papali,
        Am happy that you found the article informative!

        • chandrachur dad is from UP and mom from bolangir…We are having to struggle to find names of big personalities like bengalis or punjabis or marathis or gujjus have in bollywood…thats why were are trying to grab all these tit bits and names from here and there…

          • mira nair is from a punjab family…she was just born in rourkela…she studied and grew up outside of the state…

    • Pranab

      Instead of putting these new findings as a comment , can u please update the OP?
      Many ppl go thru the main post n skip comments.this is a gem of an article n needs to b updated whenvr pssble nt thru commnts preferably..


      • Hey Pranab,
        Will talk to my seniors here. And let us see what can be done !

  • Chinmay Kumar Mohanta

    Missed out Nila Madhab Panda. The director of “I am Kalam” movie.

    • Chinmay,
      Yes, I did miss out on him. My fault. But have added him in the comments section . Have a look at the comments below! 🙂

  • Sangram K

    Hey …The very famous New York based couture brand- Bibhu Mohapatra. Owned by world famous Designer Bibhu Mohapatra. His clientele include Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek, Glen Close, Natalie Portman. He was born in Odisha- Rourkela.

    • Satya

      Right. He enjoys/likes odia roots like us….I’ve seen some of his articles, he likes his O roots…

  • Prajna Paramita

    Hello Sourav, you missed Dolly Jena (Bijaya Jena). She is very talented.

  • Satish

    Really good to see so many odias have perfoemed their talents in national level

  • Dr Bikash Meher

    You can also add Sulagna panigrahy ,she is an Odia although brought up out side,she had a significant role in Murder,also there is Manoj Mishra frrom Sambalpur

  • sangram keshari rout

    much thanks to the creators of this amazing website,by the help of which we know about all those great talented persons who have proved themselves in bollywood

  • Lucky Das

    Chandrachur Singh is not from Odisha. His mother is from Bolangir (Maternal Home) and he was born and brought up in north India(Uttar Pradesh). So, kindly cross-check the information you are collecting or else it could mislead the readers… Thanks

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