Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Prasar Bharati Archive honours the great Upendra Bhanja and Akshaya Mohanty

Prasar Bharati Archives released two CDs - one containing the epic entitled Baidehisha Bilasa by one of the greatest poet of Odisha, Upendra Bhanja and another containing 35 popular Akashvani songs rendered by the renowned versatile singer, writer and composer, Late Akshaya Mohanty. Both these artists contributed significantly to Odia Culture – one revived its literature by enriching its repertoire and the other chronicled the emergence of modern Odisha.

Born to a royal family, Upendra Bhanja however remained distant from the usual accoutrements of his kingdom. Instead he penned down epics to take Odia literature to new heights – Braja Leela, Subhadra Parinaya, Labanyabati, Koti Brahmanda Sundari and of course the great epic Baidehisa Bilasa, his magnum opus. The epic in 52 cantos is an elegant portrayal of Lord Rama in the Tretaya Yuga.   
Akshaya Mohanty's popular songs rendered at Akashvani Cuttack over four decades are being released in a digital format and this rare CD includes 35 of his immortal songs that have entertained and swayed many generations. The CD’s title PUNYARA NADI TIRE (On the River Bank of Virtue) is taken from Akshaya Mohanty’s song immortalized in his own inimitable way:
On the river bank of virtue
There stood a tree of vice
On the branches of which
Nested a bird.
Could you name it please?

 Akshaya Mohanty's music is a fusion of the traditional past and scintillating optimism orchestrated by a modern Odisha beginning to open up which gave birth to immortal ballads of enduring greatness. He infused into his brand of music a new rhythm – unheard of then – so as to allow a vibrating generation to be borne in along with him. He was associated with AIR Cuttack in the early sixties; but his journey began much earlier. He created music that resonated through Odia life and brought a nuanced and typical culture to the public eye. He simultaneously made radio music popular by his riveting lyrics and unique style of singing. Cutting across classes his music aimed at reviving a culture that was on the threshold of a new era. He also scored music in 75 films, sang in twice as many films, wrote novels, short stories and even travelogues. Akshaya Mohanty was truly versatility personified
We pay tribute to two iconic figures who brought glory to our nation in their own unique way with the release of these 2 CDs. 

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