‘Mera Naam Yousuf Hai’ projected so much more than the average, fluffy love story. It had an underlying tone of class conflict, chauvinism and unfortunate circumstances that tore starcrossed lovers Yousuf and Zulaikha apart. Yousuf was quite the unforgettable character. His love for Zulaikha was unwavering and has his personality swiftly unraveled before us, we were treated to an overly zealous, frivolous boy who seemed incredibly immature at the surface. Yet he was so much more; he was kind, humble, gloriously blunt and pungent in an undying love. Yousuf’s dogged determination to have Zulaikha was never unkept in nature – it was real.
Yousuf’s undeviating willingness to find Zulaikha might have been misconstrued as overbearing at first, but his second meeting when he turned up at her doorstep was aching
All he wanted to tell her is ‘Mera Naam Yousuf Hai.’ The very first time he saw Zulaikha is on the train, and while he was visibly attracted to her, he can’t seem to fathom if it was love or infatuation. He’s later telling his friend how he doesn’t love her, he just felt this need to tell Zulaikha her name, admitting a sense of relief upon doing so.
Yousuf’s love was so palpable, both he and Zulaikha had a parallel dream about each other the same night
His love was incredibly heavy, so much so that it seeped into Zulaikha’s veins unconsciously. Sometimes, in love you just know if someone is the one – and for him, he knew he wanted Zulaikha standing by his side for the rest of his life. It was his love for her that catapults him into an ocean of tremendous courage.
He literally wrote love songs for Zulaikha, with lyrics that came from the heart as his smitten younger sister looked on in awe
A struggling musician, his love for music was driven by the thought of Zulaikha – his music finally served a purpose after so long, with being lovestruck a familiar feeling.
He was so certain in his love for Zulaikha, he proclaimed that if his mohobbat is true, then her arranged marriage won’t take place
It’s awfully foolish isn’t it, Yousuf declaring with such certainty – but this was the very essence of his character and the richness of the love he held. He somehow knew his love was tangible, and while it might have seemed mindless at the time, his incredibly ‘Bollywood-hero’ nature set him apart.
He was never afraid to be who he is and often found himself with his foot in his mouth – but was commendable in his charm
He was blunt, upfront and never afraid to express himself. He was a bundle of joy really and had such a strong presence even Zulaikha was dumbfounded at times by just how unfailing he was to win her over. He was really quite innocent.
He was tortured by Zulaikha’s cruel father Molvi Noor Muhammad, but still stood strong in the name of love
His resilience of love was placed as a test when he was awfully beaten up by police on orders of Zulaikha’s father – he insisted fearlessly that Zulaikha had nothing to do with him chasing after her. He protected her, before naturally once more placing his foot in his mouth and professing “Mohobbat karta hoon mein uss se, Noor Muhammad Saab,” thus being tortured a little more.
Torture became an unfortunate commonality in Yousuf’s life, and the seemingly innocent boy who fumbled in front of his love quickly transitioned into a Herculean, undaunted man
Zulaikha found shelter in Yousuf’s home after she ran away from her turbulent father and his unjust wishes for her. Her menacing brother and his gang attacked Yousuf but failed in the hands of a vengeful man in love.
His kind and soft nature oozed through him and made him all the more endearing – even when he kidnapped Zulaikha’s fiancé to be in an all comical scenario
After kidnapping Imran, Zulaikha’s rather annoying fiancé, his plucky nature is suddenly stripped after still fumbling whenever he spoke to Zulaikha. It was the first time he spoke to her on the phone, much to his shock and delight – floundering incessantly.
“Khud ko nahi pata hota,” when asked how much he loves Zulaikha – his innocence is outstanding, and kudos to writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar for crafting such a spectacular character
His first encounter with Zulaikha after the awkward first few interactions had Yousuf sweating incessantly, and even blurted out how his heartbeat was awfully quick to Zulaikha. He was very frank and to the point, unapologetically so.
He loved Zulaikha so much, he avowed with certainty that he would laugh his way through police torture after Zulaikha told him of the pain she felt at his own
Although his love did come across as quite terrifying to Zulaikha, it never swayed her – and as she fell deeper in love, her admiration for his pyaar only grew.
Even when in jail with a FIR, he kept insisting his father go to Zulaikha’s house for her hand in marriage – absurd, but alas that is the beauty of love
Zulaikha’s father vowed to destroy Yousuf and his humble little family – and after issuing a FIR against him, he thought he could at long last pursue his own intentions – or so he thought. He underestimated Yousuf’s determination and willingness.
At one point, Yousuf had enough of the unjust treatment he was subjected to and screamed at the warden in charge – quite the courage mustered by the love he held
The struggles of love molded him into a character of strength, and in the face of incredible hardships he remained sturdy and bravely fought from within the four walls of his jail cell (his unfortunate second home).
He fought for Zulaikha every chance he got, and even when she married another, he never let his heartbreak plunge him into darkness
Unfortunately, after steep hurdles stifled all hope, Zulaikha, who too falls for Yousuf accepted her prejudice father’s rishta for her – settling for arranged. She did it all to save Yousuf, because there would come a point where he might succumb to his injuries.
His sturdy demeanor did win him Zulaikha in the end, and while most love stories might be a fairy tale, this one was far from it – and to attain that fairytale ending, the drama’s protagonists went through storms.