Chitta Jena: A Mellifluous Voice That Redefined Love

Bhubaneswar: Chitta Ranjan Jena’s career spanning over four decades has been a saga of melodious music in Odia film industry. He is more known for his romantic songs among the young generation.

Life & Career
Born in 1941, he was drawn to music courtesy his parents, Jadumani Jena and Hemanta Kumari Jena. Though considered a born singer, he received his training in music from guru Pandit Bhubaneswar Mishra.

He stepped into Odia music industry as a playback singer in 1974 with ‘Mora Kaniya Suna Paniya’ for the film ‘Mana Akasha’, composed by Upendra Kumar, and since 1974, his popular discs are ‘Najare Naja Gori Bali Jatara Dekhi’, ‘Ae Parabata Kunchi Kunchi Ka’ along with some all-time great film hits like ‘Mo Priya Tharu Kie Adhika Sundara’, this is the song, which brought him a recognition as a romantic melodious singer.

It’s said that his ‘Gayaki’ was never straight forward, but full of minor ‘Harkatein’ in a manner reminiscent of Odissi classical music. This what differentiated him from others. Every regional song has its own tune which manifests its culture, Chitta Jena’s voice reflected this philosophy about the music of Odisha. Legendary music director Prafulla Kar recognised this and rightly utilized his voice from the beginning, even for Odia qawalis like ‘Tuma Sadhi Ra Ranga Nakali’ for the film ‘Sindura Bindu’ (1976).

He was initially reluctant to record a duet for the film ‘Mamata’ as he had expected Prafulla Kar to give him a solo number. After much persuasion , he recorded the song ‘Dekhi Se Bana Mali’ with P Sushila in one take and it went on to become a huge success

He had rendered voice most often under Prafulla Kar’s music direction. This duo not only produced melodious songs but also set up a special category in the music industry. Who can forget songs like ‘Dekhi Se Bana Mali Radha Hele Batuli’, ‘Manika Alo Alo Manika’ and ‘Dhali Dia Sara’. He also had the opportunity to work under the music direction of Upendra Kumar, Bhubaneswar Mishra, Sribatsa Pattnaik, Rakhal Mohanty, Basudeb Ratha and Akshaya Mohanty.

Dhain Ghidi Ghidi Dhangidi’ from the film ‘Ei Ama Sansara’ was the only song which the veteran singer lent his voice to under the music direction of Akshaya Mohanty.

Although his contribution to Odia music industry has been profound, he never got the recognition he deserved. Odia society need to identify such artists and dignify them for their dedication, sacrifice and love towards music.

Flimography
Swapana Chhuin Chhuin Jaa [Kasturi (1988)]
Barsha Nache Re [Kasturi (1988)]
Jaanenaa Kebe Taku Dekhibi Aakhi Bhari [Mun Tume O Se (1985)]
Rupa Hoithiba Labanyabati [Pooja Phula (1985)]
Jhumi Jhumi Jauchhi Mana Nachi Jaauchhi [Kaberi (1984)]
Nila Aakasha Nila Saagara [Radha (1984)]
Pirati Kie Karichha Ki Kuhana [Subarna Sita (1983)]
Luchi Luchi Sabu Dine [Subarna Sita (1983)]
Jalenaa Saagara Jalenaa [Samaya Bada Balaban (1982)]
Aarati Sajadi Basichhi Pujari [Pooja (1981)]
Kahai Man Arey Mo Bola Kara [Bilwa Mangala (1981)]
Ei Janhha Ei Raati Thari Uthe Mon Chhati [Trinath Mela (1980)]
Paribani Dhari Mun Je Nila Pari [Trinath Mela (1980)]
Rama Jibe Banabasa Rama Jibe [Ramayana (1980)]
Dhali Dia Sara Dharani Re Aaji [Tapasya (1980)]
Jhuli Jhuli Khele Boli [Tapasya (1980)]
Ho Khiali Janha Mo Manuaa Janha [Ram Balaram (1980)]
Mo Mana Ra Chadhei Taku Deli Udei [Ram Balaram (1980)
Ki Sundara Aaha Ki Aananda Maya [Gouri (1979)]
Chikalika Bambalika Bam Bam Bam [Balidan (1979)]
Pimpudi Bapuda [Chilika Teerey (1978)]
E Gramara Chasa Bhai Maatira Samman [Samarpan (1978)]
Samira Sure Gai E Jharana [Samarpan (1978)]
Tuhme Mo Radha [Sakshi Gopinath (1978)]
Jaya Jaya Deba Hare Narayana Narayana [Sati Anasuya (1978)]
Kanhi Gale Shyama Ghana [Bandhu Mohanty (1977)]
Na Jaa Sajani Pahini Rajani [Bandhu Mohanty (1977)]
Haere Mote Kalia Naga [Bati Ghara (1976)]
Kahare Kie Se Sabuja E Bana Nila Aakashe [Krushna Sudama (1976)]
Mo Priya Tharu Kie [Sindura Bindu (1976)]
Tuma Sadhira Ranga [Sindura Bindu (1976)]
Haire Hai Garaje Megha [Sesha Shrabana (1976)]
Manika Alo Alo Manika [Sesha Shrabana (1976)]
Dekhi Se Bana Malli [Mamata (1975)]
He Mora Babu He [Mamata (1975)]
Mora Kania Suna Pania [Mana Akasha (1974)]
E Bana Jharana Nachi Nachi Jaa Naa [Mana Akasha (1974)]
Pirati Tora Duru Juhara [Dharitri (1973)]

Awards
Kumar Utsav Samman – 2009 from Bhanja Cultural Trust, Rourkela
Makhanlal Haldar Smruti Samman – 2008
Banichitra Award – 2006
Award from Lion’s Club, Katak
Award from BJB Friends in 2005
Sangeeta Jyoti Samman at 4th Mahanadi Festival
Kalinga Music Fair – 2006 Award
Award at Dharmashala Mahotsav 2005-06
Chalachhitra Jagat 30th Anniversary Award – 2005
Srusti Kala Niketan Award
Award from NIST, Berhampur
Christ Collegiate School Centenary Award
Bhakta Salabega Samman – 2001
Award from Saradhabali Sanskrutika Parashad, Puri in 2000
Pratibha Puja Samman – 2008 from Gandhi Smruti Pragati Parishad, Katak
Amruta Kantha Award from Shrikshetra Kala Prakashika, Puri in 1982
Moorchhana 6th Anniversary Award – 2008
Gitanjali Award
Sadar Shree Award – 2010 from Katak Sadar Sabhiman Mancha
Award from Spandan, Baleswar in 2003
Cinema Sansar Award – 2009
Prafulla Kar Foundation Award – 2008
Jagatsinghpur Jilla Mahotsav Award
Kallola Award – 2008
Shri Jagannath Sanskruti Award – 2007

 

(The author is a film researcher and critic)

 

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