Musician Rakhal Mohanty No More

Cuttack: Veteran singer and music director Rakhal Chandra Mohanty passed away on Sunday following prolonged illness. He was 88.

Mohanty, whose name was synonymous with radio composition, died at his residence at Badambadi here.

He was known for his lyrics-based melodious and soulful compositions. He gave a whole new meaning to the musical programmes of the All India Radio (AIR) during his 20-year stint from 1974.

Mohanty, who had learnt music from legendary singers like Balakrushna Das and Pandit Bhubaneswar Mishra, started his career as a music teacher. Some of his songs are said to have been inspired by Das’ style whom he assisted for the film, ‘Mathura Vijaya’.

As an independent music director, he gave music for Odia films such as ‘Akhi Trutiya’, ‘Amar Prema’, ‘Manika Jodi’ and ‘Trinatha Mela’, among others. ‘Ei Tara Bhara Janha Raati’, a romantic song from ‘Akhi Trutiya’ in the voice of Subhas Das tugged on the strings of music lovers.

Mohanty was also instrumental in reviving Odissi music. In the 1970s, he accompanied danseuses Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kukum Mohanty and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra as the only singer. He has also lent voice to some landmark Odissi composition – ‘Shankarabharanam Pallavi’ and Odia abhinaya ‘Toh Lagi Gopa Danda’ – by Bhubaneswar Mishra. He had also composed music for a popular dance production, ‘Konark’, by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.

He was conferred with Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra award, Nitai Patil Award and Sangeet Sudhakar Balakrishna Das Memorial Award for his contribution to Odia film and music.

Odia film and music industry has expressed its deepest condolence on the demise of the veteran musician.

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