Ansari: Moments of remembering
By Anis Shakur
‘If you can envision it, you can be it.’
The above proverb holds true for the great entertainer, Jamshed Ansari.
Jamshed Ansari was born in Saharanpur, India,
on December 31, 1942. Six-year old Jamshed migrated to Pakistan
along with his family members in 1948. Jamshed Ansari played the memorable role of Safdar in the longest run Pakistani Radio
program ‘Hamid Mian Kay Haan.’ That program became the second habit of the Pakistani people for more than four
Jamshed received Bachelors of Arts degree in 1964. The same year he left for London and lived there for four years.
In London, Jamshed successfully
completed GCE and television production courses and worked in stage shows. He most notably worked in Shaukat Thanvi’s
stage play, ‘Sunta naheen hoon baat.’ He participated in at least three stage dramas. Additionally, he worked
for the BBC.
Jamshed Ansari’s brother, Tameez Ansari, was equally talented and bright but kept
away from show business.
Jamshed Ansari returned from England
in 1968. In Pakistan, his first stab at acting was in the Lahore television play, ‘Jharokay’, which was produced and telecast in 1968.
Jamshed’s every little gesture on the small screen showed an actor’s understanding
of his role.
Jamshed’s first television play from Karachi
television was ‘Ghora ghaas khata hai’, written by Agha Nasir. Director Syed Ameer Imam took the genre to another
level with an amazing vision.
‘Ghora ghaas khata hai’ is still fresh in the minds of Pakistani television
viewers. They have stories to share with others.
Dwelling on his acting prowess, Jamshed conveys the almost desperate eagerness to please
that is part of many performers makeup.
Jamshed’s love of acting not only took him irresistibly to the stage and television,
but to radio as well. He contributed to numerous radio programs.
Jamshed brightened our world with his brilliant comedy. His character came precariously
close to reality in the Karachi television drama serial, ‘Zeir
zabar pesh.’ The ambiguity of the story brought laurels to Jamshed.
Jamshed dubbed as ‘Safdar bhai’, came up with a performance of high dramatic
caliber in the Karachi television drama serial, ‘Kiran
kahani.’ That enormously appealed to the audiences. To his adorers, Jamshed personified the ideal artist.
Perhaps, Jamshed impressed his admirers most in Haseena Moin’s 1976 super hit drama
serial ‘Uncle urfi.’ Jamshed portrayed the memorable role of ‘Uncle urfi’s’ ‘Hasnat bhai’
to the hilt.
One peculiarity of Jamshed was that he could tunnel into his character. In fact, ‘Uncle
urfi’ was written with the brilliance and detail that was synonymous with Haseena Moin. Cast included Shakeel –
Qurban Jilani and Azra Sherwani.
Hasnat bhai’s repartee ‘Chakku hai meray paas’ and ‘Afsheen, tum
samajh naheen rahi ho, chacccha urfi ko pata chal gaya to bari
garbar ho jaye gee’, are still fresh in the minds of television viewers.
Likewise, one marvels at the spectacle as one watches Jamshed’s treasured splendor
throughout the drama serials. Particularly, his repetition of ‘Zoar kis pay hua’ and ‘Qatai naheen’
in two different drama serials.
Jamshed, a long-established artist of Pakistani television, offered a magnificent performance
in the popular drama serial, ‘Tanhayian.’ Cast included Shehnaz Sheikh, Marina khan, Asif Raza Mir and Behroz
Sabswari. Tanhayian’ also dealt with the social realities of the day.
Jamshed’s way, as one of the most distinguished artists, had come completely into
Quality plays aspire to grandeur and seriousness. In her mega hit drama serial, ‘Unkahi’,
Haseena Moin had crafted a play that stands as a classic in its bittersweet illustration of the unbreakable bond of family.
Reverting to Jamshed, he was full of mirth and fun and never out of place in the story
in ‘Unkahi’, as ‘Timmy.’ Cast included Shehnaz Sheikh – Saleem Nasir and Qazi Wajid.
One feels nostalgic as one encompasses all those great memories about Jamshed. He showed
the same mirth in numerous television programs like ‘Half plate’. Cast included Anwar Maqsood – Moin Akhtar
and Badar Khalil. Similarly, Jamshed’s role in ‘Shosha’ and ‘Silver Jubilee’ is highly laudable.
Jamshed’s comedic but reality-minded characters created one of Pakistani television’s
most enduring and beloved personas. He went on to work with luminaries like Shakeel and Humayun Saeed in the drama serial,
‘Doosri Aurat.’ Jamshed was highly successful as ‘Sagheer Ahmed’ in ‘Doosri Aurat.’ Director,
Haider Imam Rizvi, penned by Naheed Sultana Akhtar. Cast included Laila Zuberi – Ayesha Khan and Aijaz Aslam.
Jamshed’s immense artistic talents were quite evident in the drama serial ‘Manzilain.’
Cast included Aijaz Aslam – Javeria Jalil – Jehanzeb Khan and Farhan Ali.
Jamshed won over the hearts of his innumerable fans through his acting. That is for sure.
We come across public mimicking his dialogues with nostalgic fondness.
Jamshed also made his mark in the drama serial ‘Bewafai’. Cast included Aijaz
Aslam – Farah Shah and Farhan Agha.
Over the years, Jamshed worked in show business whole-heartedly. More than that, he preserved
his sanity with his trust.
Pakistani television serial, ‘Hamaray ghar mein’, is a testament to Jamshed’s
dedication and sincerity. Cast included Jamshed – Shahzad Raza.
Jamshed’s performance is so dazzling he transforms it into great Pakistani entertainment.
His performance in the television serial ‘Is ghar kay ander’, is praise worthy and full of skillful touches. Cast
included Mehak Ali – Farhan Ali and Ayesha Khan.
Essentially, Jamshed was an amicable artist, a devoted friend, a patriot and an optimist.
Jamshed’s role in the stage play ‘Bakra qistoan pay’ proved once again that some people are just destined
to rise to the top. Cast included Umer Sharif – Nirala – Moin Akhtar and Salomi. Interestingly enough, most of
the stage plays in which Jamshed participated were written by Ather Shah Khan.
Moreover, Jamshed’s performance in the Pakistani television comedy play ‘Such
Much’ won him national acclaim.
For the sake of record keeping, Jamshed’s second to last Pakistani television play
was ‘Chand Babu’ and his last Pakistani television play was ‘Mah-e-Neem Shab’ which was produced by
Haider Imam Rizvi.
Talking of movies, director Pervez Malik’s 1970 film ‘Saughat’ was the
first film Jamshed appeared as an actor. Jamshed was also in the Urdu film ‘Pakeeza’ and the Punjabi film ‘Ajj
Furthermore, Jamshed also earned fifty-five national and two international awards in his
forty-one year show business career. Prominent among them were Quaid-e-Azam award and Graduate award.
Some where along the way, Jamshed found his life partner and they married in 1974. They
had a son, Ghalib, and two daughters.
Bad luck, in the beginning of 2005, Jamshed was diagnosed with a brain tumor. From March
2005 onwards, his health deteriorated rapidly. Tragically enough, the tumor also affected his eyesight to an extent that in
his last days Jamshed lost his eyesight.
Jamshed’s affliction came to an end in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, August
24, 2005, when he breathed his last. May his soul rest in peace. He was sixty-three years of age.
Jamshed’s funeral prayers were held at the Bait-ul-Mukarram mosque in Gulshan-e-Iqbal,
Karachi. He was buried in his ancestral Khursheed pura graveyard located in the vicinity of Hub.
Love and inspiration knows no boundaries. Jamshed Ansari talked forty-one years ago about love and inspiration
and his message is still as timely today.