Music can never die and musical gems like Akshay Mohanty, our beloved Khoka Bhai, is also immortal. This legend of Odia music will continue to add life to moods of music lovers for times to come.
He was a master of his art despite having no professional training in music. Music was his passion. Music throbbed in his every heartbeat. He excelled in every sphere of music. He was a singer, lyricist, music composer and director, all rolled into one. Added to it, he was also well known in the Odia literary world through a series of books.
Although he was born at Mundei village of Kendrapara, he had preferred to Cuttack his home. And through music, he became a legend in his lifetime.
Way back in 1948, as a child artist he had his first song recorded at AIR Cuttack. In 1955 he became a recognised singer of this radio station. Since then he never looked back. He marched on to rule over the hearts of Odia music lovers.
His first song as a playback singer was ‘Gori Gori Gori’ of Odia film ‘Maa’ (1959). He has lent his voice to around 129 Odia movies. He was the music director of 75 movies. He wrote songs of 92 films.
His own unique home-bred Odia style was reflected in his music. It bore unique playfulness and natural truthfulness. He is considered the father of modern Odia music. His iconic peppy tracks like Kabata Khol Priye, Rail Gadi etc. still make us sway to their lyrical rhythms. When it comes to his melancholic love songs like Smruti Tume, Hrudayara Ei Sunyataru etc. our hearts long to hear them repeatedly.
Unique and Original:
His compositions were never influenced by music directors of Bollywood. ‘Jajabara Mana Mora’ composed by him proves his musical brilliance and originality. The song was about the ups and downs of human life and mind. The musical notes were fast, constantly racing between the high and the low as though depicting the struggle of the heart and the mind.
Hooked to the Roots:
His popular songs were rooted to Odisha. “Jaare Bhasi Bhasi ja, Nauka moro Bhasija” reflected the Odia feelings for the Mahanadi river. Several songs like this were written in colloquial Odia and spoke of the minds of commoners. In the above song a boatman travels via the Mahanadi river to tease young women of different districts.
Even among the new generation, Khoka Bhai stills remains an integral part of every listener. Today on the day of his death anniversary, Argus News pays homage to this immortal musical soul.