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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Prime time fame

My life has been a series of unplanned events. Sometimes the things that I planned for years didn’t work out, but other things took shape unexpectedly almost as if by divine intervention.

Though I had been acting since 1984-85, Itihaas, a serial aired on Doordarshan between 1997 and 1998, helped me grow considerably as an actor. Though it became popular, it didn’t catch the eye of the industry. The serial’s director Gogi Anand, taught me a lot about acting.

The big turning point for me was the long-running soap, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii which launched in 2001. It was a huge commercial success and it threw me into the limelight. I played Kamal, the ideal brother-in-law, and the role got me lot of recognition. It was just the kind of role that I had been waiting for. Till that time I had just done comedies like Teri Bhi Chup Meri Bhi Chup and Do Aur Do Paanch. But comedy as a genre was not too popular at that time.

During the course of the eight years that I worked in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, my character evolved and I got the chance to play comic, serious and even negative roles all in the same serial.

The reality show, Comedy Circus, too elevated me to a different platform. When Pakistani comic, Kashif, and I won the title as a team in 2007, we were dubbed as Humour Kings.

The birth of my son Nuyaan, now eight, and my daughter, Ada, six — changed me a lot. From the carefree Ali of yore, I became more responsible. They brought stability to my life and from being a very bad planner I changed around completely. Ever since they’ve come along I have come to appreciate my father much more for all the big and small things that he did for me.

(As told to Saimi Sattar)