Mantra (born Puranjit DasGupta, August 21, 1982) is a Mumbai based actor, television presenter, model, radio jockey and voice over artist. He is currently preparing for the release of his upcoming film Dil Patang, where he plays the main lead.
Mantra is the only child of actress Chandra DasGupta and publisher Prabir DasGupta. He spent his childhood years in Indore. He did most of his schooling from Indore Public School, 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 inKolkata. 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 2000. His radio career has spanned for more than a decade and he has worked for Radio Mirchi, Radio City and Red FM, in Indore, Delhi and Mumbai.
Mantra moved to Delhi in 2003 and joined Radio City, where he hosted Route 91 and simultaneously started taking acting lessons from noted theater personality Barry John at IMAGO. He appeared in theatre productions such as Infinite Theater's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Divya Arora's Melody of Love, Sohaila Kapoor's Ouch and many more. He is currently playing Andrew Aguecheek / Sebastian in Piya Behrupiya, a Hindi interpretation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The play, produced by The Company Theater, was first performed at the Globe Theatre in London as a part of the World Shakespeare Festival in May 2012.
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 while hosting Mumbai Local on Red FM.
Mantra on Radio
Mantra was the first Breakfast jock of a private radio station to go on air with the first private radio station, Radio Mirchi Indore in 2000. He was the first jock in the Phase-I in Indian Radio when the Radio frequencies were opened up for private media houses. His show “Bindass bol” on Radio Mirchi had the maximum listenership in 2000-2001. He also hosted National countdown show, Indi top 10 and other shows on Radio Mirchi. His stint with Mirchi was from 2000-2003. He moved to Delhi and did the Drive time show named “Route 91” on Radio City (2003-06). Later he shifted to Mumbai and hosted the longest running No.1 evening drive show, “Mumbai Local” on Red FM 93.5 from 2006-2011 when he quit Radio and moved on to films and television.
Awards won in Radio
2006- RAPA Award-Best Radio Jockey
2007- RAPA Award Best Radio Jockey
2008- AMY- Most popular Radio personality
2009- IRF Promax- Best Radio Show
2010- IRF Promax- Best Radio Show
Mantra in films
Mantra’s first film was Vishesh's film Tum Mile (2009), where he appeared as the second lead Vicky. The film was based on the devastating Mumbai floods of July 26, 2005 that killed hundreds of people. Mantra went on to appear in a cameo in Abhishek Bachchan starrer Game 2010, played himself in Sagar Ballary's comedy Bheja Fry 2 (2010), appeared as Nandu, a gangster in Hum Tum Shabana (2011) and a Paris based sex toy shop owner in London, Paris, New York (2012). His first film as a solo lead Dil Patang is in the final stages of production and is expected to release in Jan 2014. Recently he shot for a film “Rebelius flower” in Jabalpur. The film is a biopic of Osho Rajneesh. He plays the triple role of the Osho’s gurus Paggal Baba, Masto Baba and Magga baba.
Mantra on television
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 a 100 episodes. Mantra has been a VJ and has hosted shows such as First Day First Show and G-Spot on Channel V. He was a cricket commentator on Star Sports and a NDTV 24x7's sports show 'Cricket Controversies'. He hosted the dance reality show Zara Nach Ke Dikha and is fast gaining popularity as a stand-up comedian in Sony TV’s Comedy Circus. He is currently in his third season on the show. He hosted SET Max's Dirty Khabar. Mantra hosted a short format show called Tippani on Sony Mix. Mantra played Doubting Dev in a show called Mystery Hunters on Discovery Kids. He recently participated in celebrity dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja as wild card entry. He has also shot for the Big Magic’s show “Big Magic Chunavi Mela” aired in the election season of April-May 2014. He was the Host and commentator for the third season of Celebrity cricket league 2013, contested by Eight teams consisting of film actors from eight major regional film industries of Indian cinema. He hosted the Season 5 of India's Got Talent an Indian reality television series on Colors television network from Jan-feb 2014.
Anchoring and Modelling
Mantra is a popular anchor and has hosted several events including award ceremonies, cultural evenings and musical events. He has also appeared in several TV commercials for Style Spa Furnishings, Valvoline Engine Oil, Yummies and Windows Phone. In a current project he will be hosting the “Kabaddi pro” a Kabbaddi league happening in India in the month of July 2014.