Prafulla Kar— the man behind introducing ‘Onglish’ in Ollywood!

Bhubaneswar: Classics like ‘Mo Piya Tharu Kiye’ and ‘Keoon Naama Dhari’ have stayed with us reminding of the rich past of Odia film music. The creator of these gems, Prafulla Kar was conferred with the Choklate Legend Award at the glittering Choklate Music Awards 2017 in Odisha capital yesterday.

“It feels good to be receiving the award as an acknowledgement of work done in all these years,” said Kar after being honoured with a memento by Editor, Sambad, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.

Recipient of Padma Shri, Kar has scored music in more than 70 Odia movies as well as four Bengali films. He has won the Best Music Director award for Odia movies for six consecutive years and on eight occasions in total.

Kar experimented with lyrics, adding musical touch and twist to literature and Odissi songs.

Use of English Words

In Mu Ta Manisha Marini from the movie ‘Mamata’, he has used English, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Pujabi and Urdu to express love and repeated it with ‘Odianised’ English as in ‘You Hasining, I am Pashining’ in the song Gul Guli Gul Guli from the movie ‘Sindura Bindoo’. These films were released in 1975 and 1977 respectively. We see a similar pattern in the song ‘Gujarati Mein’ of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Khud-Daar released in 1982. In a way, it was our own Prafulla Kar, who started this trend of popularising ‘Onglish’ — the mix of English and Odia.

A Twist to Odissi Classical and Odia Bhagabata

Manika Alo Alo Manika, from the movie ‘Shesha Shrabana’ released in 1976 was a successful experiment with Odissi music. He did away from the usual pattern of reciting Bhagabata to create popular music in the movie, ‘Bandhu Mohanty’.

Text from Popular Literature

Kar was adept in picking text straight from a book and lending a musical touch to it. Re Atman Nidra Pahari from the movie ‘Mamata’ (1975) was a literature of Madhusudan Rao. Ramakrushna Nanda’s Odia poetry Ahe Dayamaya Biswa Bihari took the musical form in the movie ‘Balidan’ and won rave reviews. He made a similar attempt in the movie Rama Balarama (1980) with the song, Akhila Brahmanda Pati.

In 1978, Kar won the Best Playback Singer Award for ‘Balidan’ while the Critic Circle of India awarded him the Best Music Director for ‘Ramayana’ in 1980.

Well-known singers like Anuradha Paudwal, Usha Mangeshkar, Kavita Krishnamurty, Suresh Wadkar, Md.Aziz, Kishore Kumar, Amit Kumar, Vani Jairam, S Janaki, Chitra, Yesudas and S P Balsubramanyam have rendered their voice to Odia music under his direction. This apart, he has introduced more than 20 playback singers in Odia film industry.

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The musician, singer, lyricist, writer and columnist has also recorded Odia Bhagabat (HMV), Odia Chhanda (Odissi Research Centre), Kruntanjali (an album featuring visually-impaired singer of Odisha), an album of patriotic songs written by eminent freedom fighters of Odisha and a collection of Gita Govind of Jayadev rendered by Vani Jairam.

His album of devotional music by Anuradha Paudwal under T-Series banner had broken records with sale of 10 lakh cassettes. Kar has also composed music for numerous Odissi dance drama, ballet and music.

Among his books published is a compilation of selected devotional songs ‘Aniya Mala’ and ‘Krupajal’.

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