Also known as Khoka Bhai, Akshaya Mohanty is a legend of Odisha. Born to Subarna Manjari Mohanty and Bichitrananda Mohanty on 12th October, 1936, he is known as a singer, music composer, lyricist, writer and even as an actor.

With no formal lessons on music learning, Khoka Bhai plays a great role in keeping the odia language alive. Apart from performing within Odisha, his songs have brought him invitation from different parts of the world. He has taken the Odia language to an international level with his performances outside India.

Khoka bhai’s love for music is nonpareil. He left his job to pursue music. He stated once in an interview that people have a passion and a profession. However, his passion and profession are both same. The characters in his songs are incredible. Khoka bhai can be a roadside Romeo, and ardent young lover, as well as a hopeless betrayed partner. He can write songs which have really deep meanings difficult for common people to understand and even songs without any real meanings. His songs describe the deep love of youngsters as well as the pains of betrayal. Not only love songs, his devotion towards Lord Jagannath also is evident through his songs.

Apart from his relation with music, he is a lover of books. As he says in his interview, one needs to read a lot to become a good writer. He is the author of three short stories, five novels and an autobiography. His autobiography comes in two parts, “Arjyadasara atmalipi” and “Arjyadasara seshalipi” as the first and the second part respectively.

He has composed music in 75 odia films. His first movie as a music director is “Mala janha” whose song named “Rakata Talamala” went on to top the charts. His first song as a playback singer was Gori Gori Gori in the 1959 Odia movie Maa. He has sung songs in 129 Odia films. He experimented with the new cult of ballads. His ballads include Kanchi Abhijan, Patent Medicine, Randi Pua Ananta, Konarka Gatha etc. Patent Medicine went on to win the best radio drama award from All India Radio. He is also known to have introduced the concept of ghazals in Odia music industry. He has published a book titled “Khoka Bhai Geeta” which consists of all his ghazals.

He has also his hands in politics as he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Cuttack constituency during 1970s. He wasn’t associated with any political party and therefore lost the election.

Khoka bhai has been entertaining his listeners with his music for three generations. His music is considered evergreen and he is believed to have made music which suits to every human mood. He is said to have started his music career from a wedding where he sang for the guests. However, he is a multitalented artist, who is capable of entertaining his audience with just his songs without any instruments. He has done multiple stage shows and has been immensely loved by his fans. He breathed his last on 17th November, 2002. Even after two decades of his demise, he still continues to reside in the hearts of Odias who have kept him alive by vibing to his music, discussing about him, celebrating his birthday etc. The riverbank of Kathajodi, the lanes of Cuttack still give us an assurance that his music is alive and one can listen to it if one tries to hear it mindfully.

However, it is painful to know that his creativity has never been recognised at an authoritarian level. He deserves much more but atleast he should be honoured with a Padma award. Odia diaspora should unite with national cultural forums demanding a recognition for this evergreen artist.

REFERENCES:Various Sources

IMAGE REFERENCES:The photos uploaded to the website are collected from various internet sources. ODISHA Tales doesn't own any photos.Thanks to Everyone who clicked these photos.

DISCLAIMER:Testimonials appearing on this site are actually received via text, audio, video submission and some are translated by volunteers. They are individual experiences, reflecting real life experiences of those who have used the website to bring the information for public view. However, there are individual and subgroup findings and that may vary. We are open to receive your input to improve our website. ODISHA Tales is humbled to host the contents. However, respective authors retain the copyright of their own articles. ODISHA Tales bears no responsibility regarding the copyright claims.
Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form