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Tahir Husain: Living under his brother Nasir's shadow


Reflecting on the career of the younger Husain brother on what would have been his 78th birthday (19 September).

Sonal Pandya

The younger brother of successful filmmaker Nasir Hussain, Tahir Hussain also ventured into the movie business to produce films. Tahir made around 12 features and directed his only film, Tum Mere Ho (1990), with his superstar son Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. While Nasir seemed to have the Midas touch when it came to story, stars and films, Tahir struggled to produce successful projects.

Caravan (1971)

Hussain started out assisting his elder brother on his early hits, Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) and Dil Deke Dekho (1959), and moved on to production as associate producer first with Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and later as a full-fledged producer with Caravan (1971) starring Jeetendra and Asha Parekh. Directed by Nasir, the film became a super-hit. With music by RD Burman and lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, both Hussain regulars, the songs became chartbusters as well, especially Asha Bhonsle's 'Piya Tu Ab To Aaja'.

Anamika (1973)

The next few films, Anamika (1973), Madhosh (1974) and Zakhmee (1975), were only average hits despite having stars like Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhadhuri, Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh in its cast. Films such as Khoon Ki Pukaar (1978) and Locket (1986) took ages to complete and failed to make a dent at the box-office. In 1990, after his son was launched by Nasir's son Mansoor in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Tahir decided to make his own film with Tum Mere Ho.

Tum Mere Ho (1990)

The winning pair from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Khan and Chawla were thoroughly miscast in a story about snake charmers and young village belles. Written and directed by Tahir, the film was an early stumble for the young star who was riding high after success of Dil which also released that year. Khan was able to rebound quickly with his next feature, a remake of It Happened One Night (1932), opposite Pooja Bhatt, Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin (1991).

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

Unfortunately, for his father, he had to wait until his next production, three years later, to score his next hit. Directed by Mahesh Bhatt and once again co-starring Khan and chawla, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) was adjudged a grand success with the cast and crew picking up laurels for their work. The family comedy won the Best Film honours at the Filmfare Awards and Chawla was awarded the Best Actress Award. That was last great hurrah for the filmmaker as he almost retired from the business afterwards.

In the last 15 years, Khan, like his father, has also turned producer. His first film, Lagaan (2001), was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Academy Award and he produced several critically acclaimed dramas like Taare Zameen Par (2007) and Peepli Live (2010), alongside a Hinglish comedy Delhi Belly (2011). Also in 2011, he bought the rights to 11 of his father's films from Shemaroo Entertainment, adding them to the library of Aamir Khan Productions, ensuring that the films stay in the family.