Pradeep Pattanayak

Mihir Das, the very mention of the name reminds every Ollywood cine lover of a beaming face with a mole on the left side, just above the moustache, with big eyes behind a pair of spectacles and a lively smile.

This shows why the Baripada-born actor was regarded as one of the colossuses who continue to have a magical charm on cine aficionados even after his untimely death on Tuesday.

Born at Bhanjapur in culturally-rich Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district on February 11, 1959, Mihir first graced the silver screen 42 years ago. He made his acting debut with the character of Shatrughna in Govind Tej’s ‘Ramayan’. Then he was a student of Ravenshaw College. Five years later, an offer to act in ‘School Master’ as a co-star came his way.  And thereafter, his acting skills and easy mannerism made him a part of Odia cinema’s history. The industry got a versatile star in the form of Mihir Das, who remained unbeatable in his entire career, spanning for over four decades.

Synonymous with tragedy roles, Mihir was equally capable handling any kind of roles with élan. Be it in a hero’s role, romancing with his on screen pair in lush locations, a character portrayal, an antagonist or a comic role, Mihir left the audience mesmerized.

His parents-Prasanna Kumar Das and Sandaramani would have never imagined that their young lad would one day go onto become one of the most loveable and respectable actors of the Odia film industry.

Mihir was bitten by the acting bug even when he was a child. The opportunity of acting on stage came his way when he was just a Class-V student. He was first seen in play ‘Manikanchan’ where he portrayed landlord Pratap Keshari’s character.

His acting prowess left the audience glued to their seats throughout the play. Thereafter, he acted in several plays, giving justice to his roles.

After his debut in ‘Ramayan’, he acted in back to back films. However, it was ‘Pua Mora Bhola Shankara’ which earned him stardom. 

Mihir left for his heavenly abode today. But his legacy will continue to live on in Ollywood, inspiring the new comers.

Mihir had many hits under his belt. The long list will be incomplete without the mention of films like ‘Laxmi Pratima’, ‘Bhai Hela Bhagari’, ‘Stree’, ‘Rakhi Bhijigala Akhi Luhare’, ‘Soubhagyabati’, ‘Suhaga Sindura’, ‘Baji’, ‘Krushna Kaberi’, ‘Nari Nuhen Tu Narayani’, ‘Rakhi Bandhili Mo Rakhiba Mana’, ‘Dhauli Express’, ‘Abhimanyu’, ‘Mun Tate Love Karuchhi’, ‘Sister Sridevi’, ‘Hero No-1’ and ‘Sundargarh Ra Salman Khan’. 

His acting skill earned him recognition when he was picked up for the ‘Best Actor’ award, not for once but four times. These award winning films include ‘Bidhata’, ‘Pheriaa Mo Suna Bhauni’, ‘Pua Mora Bhola Shankara’ and ‘Bhija Matira Swarga’. For his stellar performance in ‘Pua Mora Bhola Shankara’, where he was seen without moustache, he received his first Odisha State Film Award for ‘Best Actor’.  

Mihir Das was equally success in small screen as well. Performing as a host for OTV’s hugely popular show ‘Jibana Do Chhakire Ashara Alok’, he could bring many a devastated family back on the track. His sweet nothings could help reunite many broken hearts and save many families from going asunder.

For his versatility and life-time contributions to the Odia film industry, Mihir was bestowed with the coveted ‘Tarang’ Channel ‘Life Time Achievement Award’.  

The curtains came down on the legend on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, when he lost his protracted battle with ailments and breathed his last during treatment in Cuttack.

The actor’s wife Sangeeta Das, a crooner, had predeceased him in 2010. The actor is survived by his son Amlan and daughter-in-law Bhumika.