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21 August 1982
|Other names||RJ Mantra, VJ Mantra|
|Alma mater||Indore Public School, Indore|
Voice over artist
|Known for||Genie in "Aladdin", Mumbai Local, Comedy Circus, Narad, Rebellious Flower|
Best Actor - Khatara
Lions ClubBest Actor - Ana
Mantra (born Puranjit Dasgupta, 21 August 1982) is an Indian actor, director and producer. Apart from this, Mantra, the owner of Mantramugdh Productions, is also known for having received several accolades as a theatre actor, television presenter, radio jockey, model and voice over artist. He is currently shooting for Ashutosh Gowariker's next period film "Panipat" where he'll be seen essaying the role of Najib-ad-Daulah. He is well-known for playing the iconic character of "Genie" in an Indian version of globally popular Disney India's broadway style musical "ALADDIN". He can also be seen as one of the leading roles in Bollywood's most talked about stoner comedy film "High Jack" bannered under Phantom Films and OTT video service Viu India, a directorial debut by Akarsh Khurana.
Mantra was born to actress Chandra Dasgupta and publisher Prabir Dasgupta. He spent his childhood years in Indore and did most of his schooling at Indore Public School, Indore, popularly known as IPS. His family is credited with having set up one of India's oldest publishing houses, Dasgupta Publications (since 1886), located on College Street in Kolkata. He took on the nom de plume Mantra when he started his career as a radio jockey with India's first private radio station Radio Mirchi in the year 2000.
Mantra moved to Delhi in 2003 and joined Radio City, where he hosted Route 91 and simultaneously started taking acting lessons from noted theatre personality Barry John at IMAGO. He appeared in theatre productions such as Infinite Theatre's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui", Divya Arora's "Melody of Love", Sohaila Kapur's "Ouch" and many more.
After a brief stint in Delhi, Mantra moved to Mumbai in 2006 and soon became popular for his deep voice and tongue in cheek humour.
The name Mantra came to life as Rj Mantra. Having worked with Radio City, Radio Mirchi and Red FM, Mantra gained major popularity as a Radio Jockey. He took a sabbatical from Radio in 2012 only to return in February 2017 with BIG FM 92.7 FM's radio drama "Lamhe With Mantra", a fiction based show with captivating stories for the listeners, based on a particular theme of romance for each day.
MnM talkies is the audio wing of Mantra's already established production house MantraMugdh Productions. It is an audio based podcast service divided into four categories - MnM Storyteller (includes Original work of fiction in Hindi and also Classic tales of Horror, Psychological Thrillers and more), MnM Musings (includes poetry sessions, chats with special guests, live Theatre sessions, workshops and travel diaries), Chai Chillum Charcha and an upcoming concept - ‘The Mantra Show’. The shows can be tuned into easily on web and mobile devices with YouTube, Audioboom, iTunes Podcast, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, TuneIn etc.
Mantra, while pursuing his career as a Radio Jockey indulged in theatre lessons and has performed in more than 100 plays of Piya Behrupiya. Piya Behrupiya, which is a Hindi interpretation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is produced by Atul Kumar's The Company Theatre. This two hour musical drama was first performed at the Globe Theatre in London as a part of the World Shakespeare Festival in May 2012. Pertaining to its appreciation, it was also performed in Paris, USA and Canada in 2016.
He was also seen in a musical adaptation of the popular satirical play titled Smart City, by Russian dramatist and novelist Nikolai Gogol, written by popular film writer and actor Amitosh Nagpal. The first performance was on 14 August 2016. In 2018, he was applauded across India for his performance as "Genie" in Disney India's hit Broadway Style Musical "Aladdin" which instantly became a crowd favourite.
Mantra's first major TV appearance was 'Lagegi' on UTV's Bindass channel in 2007. The show was later renamed as 'Hass ley India' and did more than 100 episodes. He played Doubting Dev in a show called Mystery Hunters India on Discovery Kids. Mantra also participated in the sixth season of celebrity dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja as a wild card entry.
Mantra then played the main lead on Narayan Narayan - Chulbule Narad ki Natkhat Leelayen which aired on Big Magic. His character was named Narad and his role was quite entertaining in this mytho-comedy. Later he hosted Family Fortunes, another Big Magic product, which is based on the format of an international game show, Family feud, where two families compete to name the most popular responses to survey questions in order to win cash and prizes.
Mantra's first break as a film actor came with Vishesh Films (Mahesh Bhatt's production) Tum Mile (2009), where he appeared as the second lead Vic. Mantra went on to appear in a cameo in Abhishek Bachchan starrer Game (2011), played himself in Sagar Ballary's comedy Bheja Fry 2 (2011), appeared as Nandu, a gangster in Hum Tum Shabana (2011) and a Paris-based sex toy shop owner in London, Paris, New York (2012).
In 2016's Rebellious Flower (2016), a biopic of spiritual leader Osho Rajneesh, Mantra played the triple role of three spiritual guides who help Osho find enlightenment. The film was shot on real locations in rural Madhya Pradesh in Central India. He was also seen in High Jack (2018).
Currently, Mantra is shooting for Ashutosh Gowariker's next period film "Panipat" where he'll be seen essaying the role of Najib-ad-Daulah alongside eminent bollywood stars like Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon. The film is set to release on 6 December 2019.
Production and Direction
Mantra is popular not only for his contribution in Bollywood as an actor but for producing his own short films and enacting in the same. Khatara, produced by Mantramugdh
Productions (owned by Mantra) is a story of a simple small town boy and his love for his car. This film bagged Mantra the award for the best actor at the 4th Bangalore Short Film Festival 2015. The short film has also been nominated as the official selection at the Manhattan Short Film Festival.
Not only this, another Mantramugdh production ‘Saudade’ won the Best Cinematography Award at the 4th Bangalore Short Film Festival and was selected for the prestigious International film festival at Orlando Florida.
After Saudade, Mantra wrote the script for ‘Mrigtrishna’ and was the producer and director of the short film.
In 2017, Mantramugdh Productions’ short film ‘Deja Brew’ produced and directed by Mantra, starring Chandra Dasgupta (Mantra’s mother) was screened at the Filmingo International Short Film Festival, 5th Mumbai Short International Film Festival and 5th Delhi Short International Film Festival (MiniBox Office) where it garnered several accolades by receiving a "Special Jury Mention". The film has also been selected for screening at Cineframe International Short Film Festival, Kolkata.
His upcoming short film titled "Ana" is the latest addition to his production company where he can be seen portraying the complexity of sexual orientation, a person who suffers from self identity crisis within the society, a constant quest between ones psychology and the identity assigned by nature. While the film is currently doing its festival rounds, it has already been nominated at some of the most prestigious film festivals of the world like Moscow Indie Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival, Golden Fox Awards, Calcutta Cult Film Festival, MiniBoxFilms Indian Cine Film Festival and many more. Directed by Debojyoti Lahiri, the film is set to release in 2019.
Mantra featured in Kailash Kher's song ‘O Jogi’ which was released in April 2016. The upbeat song talks about values and virtues of life and tells that love comes naturally to us. Mantra has enacted the song to perfection making it gather more than sixty eight thousand views on YouTube.
Mantra is a popular anchor and has hosted several events including award ceremonies, cultural evenings and musical events. On screen, Mantra has hosted shows such as India's Got Talent, Channel V's First Day First Show and G-Spot. He was a cricket commentator on Star Sports and NDTV 24x7's sports show 'Cricket Controversies'. After hosting the dance reality show 'Zara Nach Ke Dikha', Mantra gained popularity as a stand-up comedian on three consecutive seasons of Sony TV’s Comedy Circus. He hosted SET Max's Dirty Khabar and a short format show called Tippani on Sony Mix.
Mantra has been a consistent face of the Pro Kabaddi League since six seasons now. The League involves some of the world’s best kabaddi players and is inspired from The Indian Premier League (IPL). Mantra, as a co-host is one of the most sought-after characters due to his spontaneity and wit.
Apart from several TV commercials such as Style Spa Furnishings, Valvoline engine oil, Yummies and Windows phones, Mantra has also walked the ramp for social causes like "Walk For Peace" for 26/11 martyrs in November 2014 where other celebrities such as Lisa Ray, Zayed Khan also walked in Archana Kochhar's designs for the noble cause and contributed his bit to promote the Beti Movement, a step in the service of womankind.
Live action films
|Title||Actor||Character||Dub Language||Original Language||Original Year release||Dub Year release||Notes|
Mantra is a two-time winner of the Promax Award for his show "Mumbai Local" on Red FM. He has also bagged the RAPA Award for Best Radio Jockey twice. In 2011, he was awarded by PETA with the "Hero to Animals" award for rescuing a parrot tangled in wires. Mantra has also won the Best Actor award at the Bangalore Short Film Festival 2015 for his short film "Khatara" and at the 6th Indian Cine Film Festival 2018 for "Ana".
He also won the "RJ of the year" award at the Lions Gold Awards and was felicitated at the New York Festivals for his show "Lamhe" in 2017.
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