Oriya nightingale mesmerises crowd

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By BIBHUTI BARIK
  • Published 3.06.11
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Nirmala Mishra with her husbad husband Pradeep Dasgupta. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, June 2: The nostalgia of yesteryears was relived as nightingale of the Oriya film industry, Nirmala Mishra, mesmerised the audience at two different venues in the capital on Wednesday.

The 72-year-old Bengali singer is noted for her melodious singing of the immortal songs in the 60’s and 70’s. She was here to attend a citation ceremony organised by the Film Journalists’ Forum (FJF) yesterday afternoon. While the organisers paid a tribute to her by playing the singer’s popular numbers, in an overwhelming remark Mishra admitted that she always wished to be born as an Oriya girl in her next birth.

Addressing her fans, Mishra said: “Even my Bengali music composers and directors often complained that as compared to Oriya music industry, I have not been able to contribute much to Bengal. But I have always humbly reminded them that the freedom, respect and creative space I received from filmmakers in Orissa since the late’50s was very encouraging. This is the reason why I have been able to lend my voice to memorable songs in the Oriya film industry.”

The enchanting depth of the singer’s voice coupled with the zest to pronounce and feel the Oriya language made her songs memorable hits. Ask any Oriya who is in their middle-ages and the immortal lines like Akase ki ranga lagila, Jibana jamunare juara asere, Ei bhara janharati, Dheu dheuka pahada tale, Jochhana luchana, Nida bhara rati madhu jhara janha, Ei lagane mo mana bujhena would create a stir in his/her mind as her songs carried the power of sheer expressive and poetic words.

Mishra had come to the capital with her music composer, lyricist and singer-husband Pradeep Dasgupta. “I was always a short-tempered character, but my husband was just the opposite and it was due to his efforts that I could perform and create such a huge collection of songs in the Oriya film industry with films like Sri Lokanath, Ka, Shree, Jeeban Sathi, Kie Kahara, Nabajanma, Adina Megha, Bandhana, Sansara, Amar Prema, Anutapa, Manikajodi, Dharitri, Chilika Teere and Gharabahuda.

“But all my music directors like Balakrushna Dash, Bhubaneswar Mishra, Akshaya Mohanty, Upendra Kumar, J. Adani, Rakhal Mohanty and Mushir had given me all possible support to experiment and excel and perhaps for that the songs were made so soulfully,” she said in a reply to the small documentary made with her songs.

Though the queen of melody is not keeping well after a cardio-thoracic surgery and other multiple physiological disorders, she still remembers the golden days.

“I have reduced my time for music and practice due to ill health, but I always keep thinking that I am an Oriya first and hope to spend more time in the state,” she added.

Surya Deo of FJF said film songs apart, Mishra had contributed immensely for the modern and classical songs and bhajans as she was also a senior artiste with the All India Radio, Cuttack.

Noted music director, Shantanu Mohapatra, who had directed several songs in the films in the’60s said: As an artiste, Mishra possessed an unmatched dedication which could be a single reason why her songs are still remembered by millions of Oriyas and will remain evergreen s by any lady artiste in the Oriya film industry.”

Well-known lyricist Narayan Prasad Singh felicitated Mishra. The documentary of songs sung by Mishra showcased more than 10 songs. Later in the evening, the singer was also felicitated by the Sangeet Sudhakar Balakrushna Dash Foundation. To show her respect to the legendary music director, she also performed on the stage on the immortal song, Sanja sakale tums chhabi khoje, neera bhija nayanare, which received a huge round of applause from the audience at Jayadev Bhawan here.

While culture and tourism minister, Prafulla Samal felicitated the singer with the award, secretary Ashok Tripathy and educationist-turned-Odissi exponent, Prof. Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi, was also present.

Many leading singers performed Nirmala Mishra’s evergreen songs on stage as a fitting tribute to the artiste’s contribution to Oriya film insdustry.