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Shantanu Mohapatra : A Musical Renzezvous of Odisha(1936-2020)

Shantanu Mohapatra was born on November 1936, in Baripada in Mayurbhanj district. He received B.Sc in Applied Geology and Geophysics in 1957 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He joined the State Directorate of Mining and Geology Government of Odisha in June 1957 as a Geologist from which he later retired as the Director (Mining & Geology) in 1994. A born singer, Mr. Mohapatra learned vocal music from Sangeet Narayan Banchhanidhi Panda from the age of five years and was ready for public performances at the tender age of nine years. Shantanu Mohapatra is a multi-faceted personality who has shown his talent both as a singer and music director. This veteran  music director passed away on 30th, December 2020

Shantanu Mohapatra formulated new regulations on gemstones, anti-smuggling & trading of minerals, new Act & Rules on licensing and storage, trading, etc. of coal. During his tenure as Director, mineral production and mining revenue of the state touched an all-time high of 39 million tonnes and Rs 115 Crores respectively.

Shantanu Mohapatra was the Director, Llyods Metals & Engineers, is on the Board of Directors, Ispat Alloys, Kolkata, Advisor to NIPL (Neelachal Iron & Power Ltd.), Jamshedpur. He was also a consultant to JINDAL Stainless Steel, Bhubaneswar, and M/s Orion Ispat Ltd

Shantanu Mohapatra joined the IPTA (Indian People’s Theatrical Association) while still at IIT, Kharagpur, and learned the art and technique of Choral singing under the famous poet-singer-composer, Salil Choudhury.

The career of Shantanu Mohapatra with Music:-

A born singer, Mr. Mohapatra learned vocal music from Sangeet Narayan Banchhanidhi Panda from the age of five years and was ready for public performances at the tender age of nine years. He started early, creating a storm when he was recognized as a child prodigy after receiving the Best Singer Trophy for 4 consecutive years (singing Dhrupad, Khayal, Odissi, Champu, and Bhajan) in the Annual All Orissa Music Competitions organized by ‘Utkala Sangeeta Samaaja, Cuttack.’

It was in his graduation years in Kolkata when he met Salil Choudhury & was greatly impressed with his style of music & incorporated the ‘jumping notes’ style in his Odia compositions.

Inspired by Salil da, Shantanu Mohapatra composed the first Modern Odia Ballad “Konark Gatha” with lyrics by his friend cum lyricist Gurukrushna Goswami & sung by Akshay Mohanty & in later years, ‘Kalijae’ sung by Sikandar Alam. Shantanu has many firsts to his credits in the field of Odia music (film, adhunik, telefilms, docu, Jatra, bhajans, etc) as a music composer – first modern lullaby in AIR (‘Soi pada re dhana’ sung by Santilata Rout), first qawali (ae ranga Sahiba Nahi from Surjyamukhi), first bhangra tune, first fusion & jumping note (Ago Chandrika by Raghunath Panigrahi) to name a few.

Shantanu Mohapatra’s Gift to Odia Film Industries:-

Shantanu Mohapatra also has the unique distinction of being the first to get the Hindi film greats like Lata Mangeskar (Surjyamukhi), Mohd Rafi (Arundhati), Manna Dey (surjyamukhi), Usha Mangeskar (Arundhati) & experimented with other artists like Suresh Wadekar, Anuradha Paudwal, Usha Uthup, Kavita Krishnamurthy & others with his Mumbai style orchestra music & choral songs which were quite unknown during that era of Odia music.

Shantanu Mohapatra’s Carrier as Odia movie music composer:-

 Shantanu Mohapatra debuted as an Odia movie music composer in 1963 with Surjyamukhi & went on to compose for 5o odd movies, features, telefilms, documentaries & especially art movies creating milestones in his 60 years of a musical journey. Among his films, there were national award-winning films like Shodh by Biplab Roy Choudhury (first Hindi movie produced from Odisha)& Bagh Bahadur by Buddhadeb Das Gupta.

Shantanu Mohapatra has around 1900+ compositions, both film & non-film, to his credit among which there are 53 films (feature & tele),10 Jatras & 60 dramas by AIR (Cuttack) & 10 dance dramas. He has also won the highest number of awards & accolades as a music director in Odisha, totaling over 80.

Shantanu Mohapatra’s  popular composed Odia movie songs includes Sei chuna chuna (surjyamukhi), Mayuri go (Arundhati),Jja ja’re bhasi ja (Chilika teeray), Mun khoji bule (Agni Parikhya), Sei jhilmil (Megha Mukti), Mun ta thili ekutia (Dora), Subhadra kande na (Jaga Balia), Mun jibi (Golamgiri), Kete je sukha (Mukti Tirtha) & others. Similarly his popular Odia adhunik songs includes Duniya re sabudine/Aei jibana ta eka nataka/Rati re ..ama ghara (Pranab patnaik),Ago Chandrika/Nupura bajaye kie/Nali nali ae (Raghunath Panigrahi) , Je nayana ranga bhara (Sikandar Alam) etc.

Shantanu Mohapatra has many popular commercial Odia movies to his credit including Dora, Jaga Balia, Priyatama, Arundhati, Surjyamukhi, Agni Parikhya, Jibana sangram, Golamgiri etc.

Shantanu Mohapatra is equally known for his music composed for the parallel movies including Klanta Aparanha, Majhi Pahaccha, Kichi Smruti Kichi Anubhuti, Bhanga Silata, Vinna Samya, Mukti Tirtha, Nirbachana, Chilikatirrey, Aranya Rodan, Tara, Suki to name a few.

Shantanu Mohapatra scored music for the first-ever Odia telefilm “Mamu’ based on Fakir Mohan Senapati’s novel (Hindi songs were composed in Odia style for the first time) & later on ‘Lachchma’ & ‘Rebati’(again Fakir Mohan’s). His other musical experiments through telefilms or AIR includes ‘Manini Radhika (Odia Geeta Govinda), short film on Fakir Mohan, Ek Tha Rusti (based on Ruskin Bond story) &even tried creating dance drama (rhyme format) “Barna Bodha” from Madhusudan Rao’s fundamental Odia vernacular “Chhabila Madhu Barna Bodha Bodha” which is quite appreciable.

Music Director(Name of the film)

Ranabhumi (1994)

Pathar Khasuchi Bada Deulu (1993) Mukti Tirtha (1992)

Bhinna Samaya (1992)

Maha Prithibi (1992) (Bengali) Bagh Bahadur (1989)

Kichhi Smruti Kichhi Anubhuti (1988) Golamgiri (1988)

Bhanga Silata (1986) Majhi Pahacha (1986) Klanta Aparanha (1985) Jaga Balia (1985)

Niraba Jhada (1984) Dora (1984)

Jibana Sangram (1984) Shodh (1981) (Hindi) Seeta Rati (1981)

Agni Parikshya (1980) Megha Mukti (1980) Priyatama (1978) Chilika Teerey (1978) Arundhati (1967) Suryamukhi (1963)

Awards of   Shantanu Mohapatra:-

  • Title “Sura Sudarshan” by Srikshetra Kala Prakcishika, Puri  in 1979
  • Vedavya Sammans, Rourkela  in 1984
  • Samanta Chandra Sekhara Sanskrutik Anusthan, Nayagarh in 1988.
  • Utkal University Naatya Sansad, Bhubaneswar in 1995.
  • Nikhila Utkala Sangeet Shilpi Parishad, Cuttack in 1994.
  • Orissa Film Critic Award  in 1995
  • Odisha Film Dev.Corporation, Cuttack (for Film Music) in 1996
  • Odisha State(Film Industry) Award in 1997.
  • Chala Chitra Jagata, “Nitei Palit” Award in 2000.
  • O.U.A.T. Award (Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology) in 2002.
  • AIR, Cuttack Cultural Association in 2003.
  • Satabdira Kalakar (Drama) (For unique contribution to Drama) in 2003.
  • Doordarshan (For Best Docu-Drama on Fakir Mohan) in 2004.
  • Jagannath Kala Vikash Kendra, Jajpur  in 2005.
  • MOTHER TERESSA MILLENNIUM AWARD (for Culture(Music), Kolkata in 2005.
  • Nikhila Utkala Sangeet Shilpi Parishada, Cuttack(Sri Geeta Govinda Award) in 2008.
  • Pancham Veda Award for Contribution to Drama in 2008.
  • Surabitaan Award in 2008.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Kharagpur in 2008.
  • Diamond Jubilee of Odia Cinema by Sambhabanaa-Cuttack in 2009.
  • Rajadhani Gaurav (Pride of the Capital) in 2009.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Sadvabana  in 2011.
  • Shibabrata Poet Award  in 2011.
  • Times of India Award  in 2011.
  • Life Time  Achievement Award by OSA (Odia Society of America)- Houston, Texas, USA in 2011.
  • Honorary D.litt by the Utkal University of Culture in 2011.
  • Gangadhar Meher Samman  in 2012.
  • Baani Chitra  Award in 2013.

Article: – Taranisen Pattnaik
Source:- shantanumohapatra.com & google images

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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