The world of Indian television mourns the loss of a beloved figure as Gufi Paintal, the actor who brought the iconic character of Shakuni Mama to life in the epic series Mahabharat, passed away at the age of 79. Gufi Paintal’s portrayal of Shakuni had left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions of viewers, making him one of the most memorable characters in Indian television history.

Early Life and Background

Gufi Paintal, whose real name was Sarabjeet Singh Paintal, was born on October 4, 1944, in Sikar, Rajasthan, India. He had a deep passion for acting from a young age and pursued his dreams by joining the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. With his acting skills and dedication, he soon made a name for himself in the industry.

Role in Mahabharat

Gufi Paintal’s most significant role came in the form of Shakuni Mama, the maternal uncle of the Kauravas, in the epic television series Mahabharat, which aired in the late 1980s. Shakuni was known for his manipulative nature and played a pivotal role in driving the Mahabharat’s narrative forward.

Character Analysis

Shakuni Mama’s character was shrouded in mystery and complexity. Gufi Paintal’s portrayal beautifully captured the essence of this intriguing character. Shakuni’s unwavering commitment to his nephews, the Kauravas, coupled with his scheming nature, made him a memorable antagonist in the Mahabharat saga. Paintal’s nuanced performance brought out the layers of Shakuni’s personality, making him a fan favorite.

Gufi Paintal’s Impact on Mahabharat

Influence on the Plot

Shakuni Mama’s influence on the Mahabharat’s plot cannot be overstated. His manipulation and deceit were instrumental in fueling the enmity between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, leading to the epic battle of Kurukshetra. Gufi Paintal’s portrayal of Shakuni ensured that the character had a lasting impact on the viewers’ minds, leaving them in awe of his acting prowess.

Memorable Dialogues and Scenes

Gufi Paintal’s impeccable dialogue delivery and powerful acting skills made Shakuni Mama’s character unforgettable. His sharp wit and cunning nature were evident in dialogues such as “Kaun sahi hai, kaun galat hai, yeh toh samay hi bata sakta hai” (Who is right, who is wrong, only time can tell). These dialogues, combined with his well-executed scenes, have become iconic moments in the history of Indian television.

Gufi Paintal’s Portrayal and Legacy

The Actor behind the Character

Gufi Paintal’s portrayal of Shakuni Mama showcased his exceptional acting abilities. He effortlessly portrayed the complex emotions and motivations of the character, making Shakuni seem more than just a villain. Paintal’s dedication to his craft and attention to detail brought depth to the character, earning him immense praise from both critics and viewers.

Audience Response and Popularity

Gufi Paintal’s portrayal of Shakuni Mama struck a chord with the audience. His ability to make the viewers empathize with a negative character was a testament to his acting prowess. The popularity of Mahabharat and Shakuni Mama’s character soared, making Gufi Paintal a household name across the country.

Cultural Significance

Mahabharat, with Gufi Paintal’s unforgettable portrayal of Shakuni Mama, transcended the realms of television and became a cultural phenomenon. The series not only entertained but also educated viewers about the ancient Indian epic. Paintal’s character became synonymous with cunningness and manipulation, leaving a lasting impression on the collective consciousness of the audience.

Farewell to Gufi Paintal: Remembering the Legend

Gufi Paintal passed away on June 5, 2023, due to age-related issues. The news of Gufi Paintal’s demise has left the entire nation in mourning. Fans and fellow actors took to social media to express their grief and pay homage to the talented actor. Tributes poured in, reminiscing about his incredible contribution to Indian television.

Emotional Reactions and Tributes

The passing of Gufi Paintal evoked a wave of emotions among fans and colleagues alike. Social media platforms were flooded with heartfelt messages, expressing gratitude for the memorable characters he brought to life. Fans shared their favorite dialogues, scenes, and memories associated with Shakuni Mama, demonstrating the profound impact he had on their lives.

Gufi Paintal’s Lasting Impression

Gufi Paintal’s legacy as Shakuni Mama will forever remain etched in the hearts of his fans. His ability to breathe life into the character, making him both loved and despised, is a testament to his talent. While the loss is immense, Gufi Paintal’s work will continue to inspire generations of actors and leave an indelible mark on the Indian television industry.


The demise of Gufi Paintal, the actor who portrayed the iconic character of Shakuni Mama in Mahabharat, marks the end of an era in Indian television. His exceptional performance and nuanced portrayal of Shakuni Mama made him a legendary figure in the industry. Gufi Paintal’s impact on Mahabharat and the cultural significance of his character cannot be overstated. As we bid farewell to this talented actor, his legacy will forever live on in the hearts of his fans and in the annals of Indian television history.