Yusuf Kamal was born in 1938, in Bhopal, India, to a highly enlightened family. He shared the big world with his two younger brothers and a sister. Yusuf received his primary education in an English medium school, in the pre-partitioned India. Additionally, he also acquired education in a French missionary school in India.
Yusuf migrated to Karachi, Pakistan, along with his family in 1952. Young Yusuf had a flair for acting since his childhood. During his school days in Karachi, Yusuf regularly participated in the extra curricular activities. Soon after graduation, Yusuf made his presence felt in stage plays as well.
Yusuf Kamal changed his name to Shakeel and debuted in the 1966 film, ‘Honehar.’ Cast included Shakeel- Waheed Murad- Rukhsana- Tarannum- Kamal Irani. For Shakeel, the film ‘Honehar,’ was a challenge he met with ferocious gusto.
Shakeel’s first television play was ‘Naya Raasta,’ which was penned by Hasina Moin and telecast from Karachi television in 1971.
Essentially, Shakeel is a natural actor, who applies himself earnestly as a professional duty. Karachi television presented special Eid-ul-fitr play ‘Happy Eid,’ in the 1970s. Shakeel and Neelofar Abbasi, formerly known as Neelofar Aleem, came up with resplendent artistry and made ‘Happy Eid,’ a memorable play. In the final moments of the play, Shakeel wishes ‘Happy Eid,’ to Neelofar and she greets him with ‘Eid Mubarak.’ They looked right at each other and smiled. It was quite a smile.
The will to succeed is part of the Pakistani culture. Shakeel and Neelofar Abbasi teamed up again in Haseena Moin’s highly successful Karachi television drama serial, ‘Shehzori.’
You can do a world of good for yourself if you keep a steady course.
The above statement rings too true to Shakeel. Dwelling on Shakeel’s immense artistic prowess, ‘Uncle urfi,’ could be ranked among the three greatest drama serials in Shakeel’s forty-year eventful career. Cast included Shakeel in the title role of ‘Uncle urfi,’ Shehla Ahmed as Beena, Qurban Jeelani as Shaheed bhai, Azra Sherwani as Ghazi, Jamshed Ansari as Hasnat bhai.
As the story goes, Shakeel, who is super-smartly dubbed as ‘Uncle urfi,’ takes interest in Beena. In reality, uncle urfi was desirous to make Beena happy. Logically, urfi should have taken Beena into confidence before doing her a favor. Instead, he kept her in the dark. The final moments of the last episode are fraught with pain and pathos.
Urfi tells Beena with certitude, ‘hamari shadi hogi to sara zamana deikhey ga.’ to which poor Beena replies, ‘kuchh shadiyaan dil kay weerano mein bhi to ho jaati hain, sirif khuda gawah hota hai.’
The emotionally charged conclusion of ‘Uncle urfi,’ was so unexpected that literally nobody was prepared for it. Indeed, Haseena Moin had instilled so much despair in its dialogues that thirty-two years later, it still stands as a classic in its bittersweet illustration of the unbreakable bond of family.
Further, Shakeel achieved enduring fame in Haseena Moin’s mega hit drama serial, ‘Un kahi.’ Cast included Shakeel as Taimur, Shehnaz Sheikh as Sana Murad, Javed Sheikh as Faraz, Saleem Nasir as Sheheryar, Jamshed Ansari as Timmi.
Initially, Taimur did not tolerated Sana Murad’s demeanor. But Taimur’s father-in-law, played by Qazi Wajid, suggests, ‘Taimur, logoan kay chehray parha karo, ye duniya ki sub say dil chasp kitaab hotay hain.’ That changed Taimur’s perception of Sana Murad and he managed to see the sincere girl behind the confused Sana Murad.
Most importantly, Shakeel’s numerous roles always heighten the sweetness of living. ‘Uroosa,’ is another popular television drama serial of Shakeel. Cast includes Shakeel- Ghazala Kaifi- Adnan Siddiqui- Mishi Khan.
As the story unfolds, Shakeel divorced his first wife, Ghazala Kaifi. Mishi Khan, who plays the title role of ‘Uroosa,’ happens to be the daughter of Shakeel from his first wife, Ghazala Kaifi. ‘Uroosa,’ wins everyone’s heart through her etiquettes. She weds Adnan Siddiqui, who lives next door.
All the Pakistani television drama serials deal very well with Shakeel, who plays them splendidly. Shakeel is also famous for his social services. He was proactive during the recent earthquake in Pakistan. Likewise, he takes active participation in anti smoking campaign. Furthermore, Shakeel conferred awards to the winners in the most recent Pakistani television award ceremony held in Karachi.
In recognition of his enormous contribution to the show business, Shakeel won the pride of performance award in 1992. Shakeel’s is a long, healthy, prosperous life, and a life really well lived.
The other day, Shakeel attended a function. Tens of hundreds of devoted admirers gathered around Shakeel and said, ‘hum Aap ka yaad gaar tareen kirdaar, ‘uncle urfi,’ kabhi na bhool payein gey.’
Shakeel replied, ‘Thank you and good cheer to all.’ Then slowly he walked away and soon vanished into the crowd.
Shakeel’s movies are listed below:
1. The 1968 film ‘Josh-e-intiqaam,’ cast, Shakeel- Deeba- Adeeb.
2. The 1968 film ‘Nakhuda,’ cast, Shakeel- Rukhsana- Ibrahim Nafees.
3. The 1968 film ‘Papi,’ cast, Shakeel- Bano- Sitara.
4. The 1968 film ‘Zindigi,’ cast, Shakeel- Ghazala- Ejaz- Tariq Aziz
5. The 1969 film ‘Dastaan,’ cast, Shakeel- Ghazala- Rattan Kumar-
6. The film ‘Gharonda.’
7. The 1973 film ‘Insaan aur gadha, cast, Shakeel, Nisho, Kamal, Rangeela.’
8. The 1973 film ‘Badal aur bijli,’ cast, Shakeel- Nadeem- Shabnam- Andaleeb- Qavi.
9. The 1974 film ‘Chahat,’ cast, Shakeel- Shabnam- Rehman-
10. The English film ‘Butterflies are free.’
Some of Shakeel’s popular television drama serials and plays are listed below:
1. The television play,’ Honeymoon.’
2. The television drama serial ‘Zeir, zabar, pesh.’
3. The television detective series, ‘Naam Daar.’ Shakeel- Khalida Riyasat played the lead roles and solved the murder mysteries.
4.The Children’s television space fiction series, ‘Tick Tick Company.’
5. The television plays ‘Mantorama,’ which were written by Sa’adat Hasan Manto.
6. The television drama serial ‘Perchhaiyaan.’
7. The television drama serial ‘Anaa.’
8. The television drama serial ‘Chand grahan.’
9. The television drama serial, ‘Uraan.’ Cast, Shakeel- Faryal Gauhar- Resham- Abid Ali
10. The television drama serial ‘Tappish.’
11. The television drama serial‘Afshan,’ cast, Shakeel- Tahira Wasti- Zaini Umair- Ayesha Khan.
12. The television drama serial ‘Aangan tera,’ cast, Shakeel- Bushra Ansari- Saleem Nasir.
13. The television drama serial ‘She jee,’ cast, Shakeel- Rubina Ashraf- Babar Ali.
14. The television drama serial ‘Zameen,’ cast, Shakeel- Sakina Sammo- Khalid Zafar.
15. The television drama serial ‘Doosri aurat,’ cast, Shakeel- Humayun Saeed- Aisha Khan-
16. The television drama serial ‘Aandhi,’ cast, Shakeel- Sakina Sammo- Khalid Zafar.
17. The television drama serial ‘Tum say mil kar.’ Cast, Shakeel- Vaneeza- Jia Ali- Ayaz Khan.
18. The television drama serial ‘Saaye,’ cast, Shakeel- Marina Khan.