With great sadness, I want to inform you that Utkal who has been quite active on this blog passed away.
I for once thought him as a guy in early twenties because of his energy and enthusiasm.
May his soul rest in peace!

“Not fair, Utkal Ranjan Mohanty. You had promised we will resume our arguments on music, cinema, poetry, theatre and politics once you are back.
You had promised I would get a chance to defend myself against your scathing criticism and gloat in your unbridled praise of my films. You had promised we would discover new eateries in Bangalore and relive the Yellow Submarine days when I would come down.
But then, probably it is better this way. It is better that one of the most articulate, knowledgable, lovable and fearless minds of incredible clarity and vision that could exist didn’t have to see prolonged days of incoherence, vacuousness and desperate pain.
Damn you, Cancer.”

Some of his reviews and notes:
Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Ok Kanmani
Utkal on Rajesh Khanna
The incomparable Amitabh – My diary of a passionate engagement over two decades (Utkal)

His Blog : utkaleidoscope

Outlook – Utopia, Family Album Size


70 Responses to “Utkal,RIP!”

  1. Shocked would be an understatement! I am deeply saddened by this news. Just prayers and fond memories are what I have to remember of our dearly departed. May he rest in peace!

    Will never forget you Utkal Sir and will always remember you whenever I visit this blog!

    May God give him eternal rest. I am just too sad today. Hope you get to check out all the special edition / cut of your favorite movies up there in heaven !!

    Will write something more coherent later and I am just too shocked right now !!!!


  2. I am shocked! Cant believe.


  3. tonymontana Says:

    This is shocking. I hope its not true.


  4. Deeply upsetting news, a great writer!

    May you rest in peace


  5. This is unbelievably sad. How old was he? Very hard to believe…RIP


  6. Most terrible news. Never ever thought I would hear this for any of my blog mates. I don’t think I can work for rest of my day now. This saddest news made me numb. I am loss of words.

    Dear Utkal, we hardly interacted and for that matter mostly I am not interacting much on blog sphere with anyone. I read and enjoyed your arguments, your post, your reviews and your love for coming of age cinema. I don’t know you personally, but still can easily judge you as intellectual person who has great ability to put forward argument in most convincing way. I have impression that you have good knowledge of classic music and dance as well (may be I read something very technical details within your posts that only a knowledgeable person can think of). And one day I got to know you are 50+ guy which further escalated my respect for you, not because you are old, but because of your exemplary exhibiting energy and enthusiasm like a young man.

    Probably after living 10 years in a blog world, first time I am feeling like crying for someone. I was listening music while working in office when I read this post, and for next few minutes, though music was still on but I couldn’t hear anything except my hear beat going down. This is the impact you have created Utkal Sir. I am leaving office while writing this post with very heavy heart and mind. May you rest in peace dear Utkal. We will miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. RIP.

    Utkal’s passion for cinema was unparalleled and it reflected in his views and criticisms.

    I had once spoken to him as I was gonna travel to Bengaluru. He was a great guy, accessible and helpful.

    I shall miss his strong opinions. He shall always be there in our memories with his wonderful reviews and opinions.


  8. OMG.. This is very sad. I’ve been missing him from days and thought one day if he was really alright or sick(and how unfortunate we are as we won’t know if that happens) but never imagined I’ll hear this kind of news. Literally tears in my eyes and RIP Utkal ji where ever you are!


  9. I’m shocked beyond words! Still would take some time to sink in the reality that Utkal is no more! RIP, Utkal! You are an amazing soul with affable qualities, a man with amazing clarity of thoughts. Your views & reviews would be missed here at SS. I’m still finding it tough to come to terms with your untimely demise, may God give strength and courage to the family in coping with this irreparable loss.


  10. thecooldude Says:

    Truly shocked! we are so involved with this blog that it’s easy to forget sometimes that the folks who post here are not robots with nicknames but real humans. RIP Utkal. You will be missed.


  11. Incredibly sad to read this…RIP, Utkal. You will be deeply missed.


  12. I was thinking of meeting Utkal or at least talking to him, next month when in Bangalore. He is an FB friend, plus somebody I have interacted with.

    What a shock, what a terrible thing to happen — taken away in the prime of life; somebody who had so much to offer — wisdom, wit, warmth, cogent argument that was sane, not wild and abusive like much of social media today…rest in peace dear friend. Gone too soon.


  13. P.K Talli Says:

    Beyond devastated by the shocking news , known him since NG days . May you rest in peace .


  14. RIP Utkal.

    May God comfort your family members as I’m sure if we’re shocked on this blog, they are probably torn apart.


  15. Amit kumar pandey Says:

    RIP Utkal ji 😦 … Lord jaganaath will be with you..


  16. RIP
    A unique presence on blogs and a class act.


  17. I’m shocked! had no idea he was ill. Deeply deeply upsetting news. I disagreed with him most of the time but his was always a welcome presence. This is just terrible news.


  18. Really Shocked! He was one of the few members whom I interacted with since the NG days almost 10 yrs ago. Anonymous IDs engaging in constant idea exchange and banter is all we are. And somehow age never factors in, just matching of ideological frequencies. In the absence of physical proximity, we are all getting older in this dark space without even noticing the age showing on each other. Not sure how old he mustve been, but surely his passing reminds us all of the brevity of life. RIP Utkal Sahab.


  19. Rest in peace Utkal Babu. very unexpected news. Loved his adding of personal touch and incidents to his movie reviews.


  20. Oh My God shocked! I too remember interacting with him on NaachGaana way back around 2007/08 and then seeing him on SS since I’ve joined. Rest in peace Utkal


  21. AamirsFan Says:

    Damn! Horrible news…always enjoyed his passionate reviews. This is just sad. RIP.


  22. Can’t believe this.

    RIP Utkal, will miss u and ur writings a lot.


    • This was quite a shock — I had no idea Utkal had been unwell: I’ll always remember him for his deep love of cinema, his incredible enthusiasm and passion, not just for what he liked, but for what he felt pushed the envelope and gave Indian cinema something new. And most of all, his good humor even amidst all the arguments. RIP brother: you go where crap films cannot follow.


  23. tonymontana Says:

    an extremely articulate and well-read man. his unique and unbiased opinions were always a delight to read.

    Fan was the last film he watched, I guess. Dunno whether he posted a detailed review of the same, but I think he didn’t like it at all.


  24. Extremely sad to hear this. Read all his reviews here. What a passionate film fan and champion of films he liked. Will be missed.


  25. this is very sad news, will echo the sentiments of some of the folks here, even though I didnt know him personally, it felt like there was a connection with him (and others) on the blog. RIP utkal.


  26. Don’t know what to say or how to react, but know that I can’t sleep tonight without drinking. Maybe that’s not what Utkal would have wanted but there’s no way to sink this in. There is no way I can sleep after reading this.

    How easy it’s for us anonymous nobodys to comment, moralize, argue ugly, and pass judgments: All it takes is not even a minute for God to yank us out of our hallucinatory bubble comprising all these emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. This is honestly horrendous news…Still cannot digest it…I guess I will take a break from SS for a while…Looked him up in FB..Seems a elderly gentleman in the 60’s and full of life..RIP!!…


  28. Just cant believe it, RIP Utkal sir. I used to enjoy his write ups and film reviews which we all miss now.
    Sad news to begin my day.


  29. Shocked !!!!
    Utkal bhai – you will be missed.


  30. For all the intelligence of our species & science – the biggest demon of all cancer has no cure.

    He’s lived a happy life from whatever pictures I’ve seen on facebook. He wrote passionate reviews, loved films period. Loved IMDB. Loved music. Even loved box office. Embraced all aspects of the blog. A true all-rounder.

    I hope his last days were peaceful & surrounded by loved ones. A remarkable loss to the blog & others.

    I will watch one of the Diwali releases just for him. Probably ADMH, because I’m sure he had a soft spot for Ranbir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Utkal,

      I watched ADHM for you. I’m pretty sure you will find comfort in knowing Ranbir Kapoor put in one helluva performance & there was plenty of poetry to titillate audiences & the film was very filmi in this sense. M. Rafi was mentioned nearly as much as filmi dialogues/music from MPK, KKHH, K3G, KHNH, MNIK. This balancing act of past and recent past is an uneasy cocktail for many. But for you its perfect as you LOVED Cocktail and regularly compared it to Guru Dutt (I am not at liberty to question your comparison having not seen the “past past” films), but I accept your opinion as you graciously accepted all of ours without remorse/venom/hatred.

      Also I am sure your take on the last 30 mins may have taken either an even more emphatic response to mine or you may have found it a hoot. It depends on how well one is prepared to take on such savages in life & the support you have. Only you shall know.

      My final goodbye to you. Further a dialogue of sorts from the film that aptly describes you. Love is PASSION (you loved films, music, poetry with passion) & Friendship is PEACE (you were always peaceful when stubborn, seldom rude amongst a community of strangers).

      No sorry, no thank you required

      Liked by 5 people

  31. As I said, on a bloody cruel Monday night, I am distressed with this news and heart-scarred. But I cannot think of a greater tribute to Utkal da than this one…call me filmy, but Utkal was bloody 100 times filmy than me.. and this is for him..if anybody feels this is filmly ‘filmy’..feel free to delete this comment…

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, its ok AJ. It is not “filmy”. If it is, its ok too. Whatever you feel is just. Your tribute is your method of dealing with it and nothing wrong in it. When our prarabdha is over, we have to go, no matter how big a saint we are…yama has ways. And there is reason why Shiva is at the center in any smashan.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just to remind us of his fondness for the movie – Cocktail (Apex would have written it differently 🙂 )


      • Still very difficult to come to terms with this news and as someone said this is a first of its kind blog experience for me too and death can knock on these quarters too!

        That An Jo song out up is one my fav song on life’s realities. I would go a step further and play a sad Mohd Rafi version for our departed soul Utkal Da. Hope no one gets offended here…..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sometimes when I get deep into listening to my favorite music and alone, I do sometimes fantasize about these death scenes and if someone could play my favorite song while I depart the world peacefully……yes sadly I do get that filmy at times…..esp if kishore kumar is singing zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam….woh phir naheen aatey !

          Therefore lets live our lives to the fullest because Kal Ho Na Ho !

          Liked by 1 person

  32. Remember so many things about him. I interacted with him but my viewe were not that serious on anything. But he took my views seriously sometimes and argued with me. Sometimes we agreed.

    On BR’s blog many complained about his overlong reviews and then they gave up. Utkal also understood and he stopped posting every one of his reviews there. I Liked almost all his posts because I felt he deserved some encouragement and appreciation. BR was gracious and did not mind his longish reviews.

    I was surprised that he did not feel shy appreciating profusely heroines he liked. Hope his wife did not mind it. Deepika Padukone and Cocktail. Apex used to make fun of Utkal and sometimes he went overboard when Utkal’s views irked him. I used to feel sorry for Utkal at such instances. But Utkal maintained his dignity by not replying.

    Utkal had the mental energy of a young man and I wondered how he could watch so many movies at theatres braving Bengaluru traffic. If he liked or disliked a movie, there used to be immediate reviews. I think he worked late hours in the night to express himself.

    This Deepavali will be sad for me. The two movies releasing will not be watched or reviewed by him. And there are other important and interesting movies and Utkal is not there to enjoy them. He loved Pink.

    When frequent visitors of this blog stop visiting, I always ask where are they. I thought Utkal must be sick or visitng his children abroad. But I had some fear also. A sort of premonition.

    We all miss you Utkal.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Truly sad. Some day some one won’t turn up.
    And, we wouldn’t know.

    Peace, Utkal.


  34. very sad to hear…he was always with wonderful comments…R.I.P.


  35. Born gone, born gone. Name and form. comes and goes. Thou art sat-chit-ananda. Satyam Jyanum Anantum. You are forever and ever. The name and form comes and goes, as though. I will always remember the writings where you talked about Rajesh Khanna and how he impacted you and your buddies in college days. Then Amitabh phenomenon happened and how all of you all reacted. Loved reading those memories of yours. Will miss you Utkalji.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Oh my gosh, this is such sad news. Never interacted with the gentleman, but his passion for cinema was infectious. RIP.


  37. tonymontana Says:

    yeah i remember he loved Cocktail, especially Deepika in it. his views were unique and it was amazing the way he kept general perceptions of those around away and never let them affect his judgement.

    chennai express was another film he loved. again starring deepika. i remember him going ga ga over it.

    such childlike enthusiasm when it comes to cinema is such an inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

    • He found Deepika’s character plausible in Happy New Year! I argued how someone will start singing Love song after first meeting. He justified it.


      “Munna: “Where do you see actress singing “Manwa laage” without any prior romance angle?” It is made abundantly clear that Mohini has a crush on Charlie. But Charlie does not reciprocate. Not even at the end. Taht certainly is bold for a mainstream commercial film, with a king of romance like Shahrukh. And apart from a part of the Manwa lage song, even the one-sided romance is not given any play. In fact , even during the Manwa lage song, the focus in part is how Mohini is bonding the tram together with her feminine influence, as she is shown serving food to the tram etc.”


  38. RajRoshan Says:

    What a terrible news…shocked and saddened…I think first time I am hearing about this kind of news on any forum(movies or sports)…RIP


  39. Very sad news. One of the best contributors to this blog. His passion for Cinema and writing was incredible. Although many times, I had differing views from his observations, knowing his perceptive and thoughts was insightful. A great loss to this platform. Prayers for his family at this sorrowful time. Miss you Utkal Sir !!


  40. RIP Utkal sir. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts.


  41. Extremely sad – I haven’t really followed this blog lately but I know he was a huge film buff and wasn’t afraid to express his opinions even when unpopular.

    Rest in peace…


  42. http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/10/24/imtiaz-ali-on-modern-romance-women-characters-in-his-movies-and-why-he-doesnt-regret-cocktail_a_23252463/?utm_hp_ref=in-homepage

    Imtiaz Ali On Modern Romance, Women Characters In His Movies, And Why He Doesn’t Regret ‘Cocktail’

    In 2012, you wrote a film called, Cocktail, which Homi Adajania directed. Despite being a hit, the film still remains contentious because of the way it depicted its women characters.

    (Interrupts) See, the point is that if I don’t direct the movie then I don’t own the authorship of it.

    But it’s still yours, it’s your writing.

    Writing is interpreted in 500 different ways. You give me Mughal-e-Azam and I will make it something else if I am directing it.

    In hindsight, how do you look at it (Cocktail)?

    I don’t think there was anything wrong in the way it was. In fact, how it was supposed to be was Veronica (Deepika Padukone’s character in Cocktail) is the type that this guy (played by Saif Ali Khan) likes. The whole point was that he goes against his type because that particular person (Diana Penty’s character) he likes a lot. It had nothing to do with somebody being Indian, or somebody being more acceptable to his family.
    Do you then think the issue was in the storytelling there because the film is widely perceived as that (problematic)? There’s also a slut-shaming angle to it as you see Veronica, who smokes and is more ‘free’ not getting the guy. The film sends the message that you can have ‘fun’ with her but wouldn’t want to settle down with her. I am fairly certain you must have heard this many times before.

    Yes, 100 times. And every time I say the same thing — if I haven’t directed it, I can’t claim it. Nobody reads the script. The script that I wrote, people should actually read it. Not that I am saying that the director (Homi Adjania) messed it up but it just came through differently than the way it was intended to.


  43. We are missing Utkal more than he missing us and films.

    Memories of him are fading in the rush of life but once in a while I remember his sweet presence on blogs and his determination to stick to his views and be indifferent outwardly to the harshness of some bloggers. He had a young heart and he was not afraid to write what he felt passionately.

    Age may wither the body but not the mind as he proved often during his lifetime.

    I learnt something valuable from him. Not to give in. Or ignore the harshness of the blog world and carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

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