Nayagarh: If you hear him singing legendary singer Akshaya Mohanty’s songs with your eyes closed then you would be forgiven for believing that the legendary singer himself is singing somewhere nearby.
18 years have passed since Akshaya Mohanty, popularly known as Khoka Bhai left us for his heavenly abode. Over the years many tried to copy his voice, tonality and the way he used to sing. But none has succeeded so far.
But after hearing Pradeep Mohapatra of Nrusinghapur Sasan of Rajasunakhala panchayat under Ranpur block in Nayagarh district, you will agree that he is giving justice to Khoka Bhai’s songs.
Pradeep is popular in the locality as Rabi Bhaina. Akshaya Mohanty’s songs can be heard blaring from his house morning to evening.
“I have so far attended 1,200 stage programmes and sung almost all the songs of my revered icon. It satisfies me when listeners below stage cry for an encore,” Pradeep said.
A graduate, Pradeep said he can’t say when and how he fell in love with Akshaya Mohanty’s songs. “Yes, a desire to be a singer like him was somewhere in my heart. I grew up listening to his songs,” he admitted.
In his student career he would take part in song competitions. He won trophies, certificates and laurels from the judges as well as listeners.
“My parents’ motivation is to be thanked for what I am today. Now after my father’s death, my mother, my wife, two daughters and one son have been encouraging me to continue my singing. Come hell or high water, I will go on singing Akshaya Mohanty’s songs till my last breath,” he added.
This singer has been singing for the last 40 years. But he is yet to get any proper platform to showcase his talent. He always longs for such an opportunity, or else, he feels, his talent will die before being recognised by thousands of Akshaya Mohanty’s fans across the state.