Divya Solgamawrote on Aug 11 2008 7:11PM
Nasir Hussain was born on Feb 3rd, 1931 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He first worked with A. R. Kardar then he joined Filmistan as a writer in 1948. The famous films he wrote for filmistan include Anarkali (1953), Munimji (1955) and Paying Guest (1957), Filmistan was the breakaway studio from Bombay Talkies it used mid-budget formual productions and sold on star value and music. Sashadhar Mukherjee was a part of the breakaway team and he gave Nasir, Tumsa Nahin Dekha to direct. The film made a star out of Shammi Kapoor.
With a career that spanned over four decades, Nasir Hussain enthralled the audiences with his genre of light romatic musicals. Although, he never boasted about it but he helped launch the careers of a number of Bollywood's brightest stars, like Asha Parekh, R. D. Burman, Shammi Kapoor, Mansoor Khan, Aamir Khan, Usha Khanna etc. He once said while he loved to work with people he admires most (lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri, for one), he enjoyed seeing new talent blossom.
If anyone could say he had a hit formula on hand, it was without doubt filmmaker Nasir Hussain one after another he came up with films which ruled the box-office. He directed such superhit films as Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Caravan, Yaadon Ki Baarat, Hum Kisise Kam Nahin and produced such blockbusters as Teesri Manzil, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which launched the careers of his son and nephew, Mansoon and Aamir Khan respectively. Nasir Hussain had an ear for good melodies. Most of the films he directed or produced had really good music. Songs such as Tumsa nahin dekha, Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera, Piya tu ab to aaja, Churaliya hai tumne jo dil ko, Chand mera dil and there are many others are still popular among Hindi music lover and will always be. What is extremely interesting about Hussain's films is that he practically re-made the same film over and over again but the new product always found flavour with the audience. In fact he even had a set of 'items' that were repeated in film after film albeit in different combinations and permutations. For e.g. the clash in the train sequence between Shammi Kapoor and Ameeta in Tumsa Nahin Dekha was repeated in Teesri Manzil with Shammi Kapoor again and Asha Parekh, Beating up the drummer Rocky from Dil Deke Dekho was repeated in Teesri Manzil, Imposters coming to claim the missing son's place was repeated in Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Manzil Manzil. The Bhang song of Jab Pyar Kisi se Hota Hai was repeated in Hum Kissi se Kam Nahin and Manzil Manzil, even while maintaining the lost and found track throughout. (In fact when Hussain did dare to go off his formulaic track with Baharon ke Sapne (1967), he met with failure) Perhaps this was the reason that Hussain was never taken seriously by film critics as a director of calibre. But nothing could be further away from the truth. Nasir Hussain always maintained that it was more interesting to show the process of the hero and heroine falling in love run through the film rather than have the hero and heroine in love and that is what makes his films special. His films made the process of boy wooing girl and winning her over a most enjoyable affair. Hussain's films, in fact, were a major influence on the films of Manmohan Desai, another filmmaker who thrived on the lost and found formula. With such a strong element of romance in his films it is but natural that his films were known for their superb music. Each and every composer did some of their best work for him be it O.P. Nayyar (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon), Shankar-Jaikishen (Jab Pyaar Kisi se Hota Hai), Usha Khanna (Dil Deke Dekho) and of course R.D. Burman who did all of Hussain's films following Teesri Manzil (1966). In fact The Nasir Hussain - R.D. Burman - Majrooh Sultanpuri team created musical history together through Teesri Manzil, Baharon ke Sapne, Pyaar ka Mausam, Caravan, Yaadon ki Baraat, Hum Kisi se Kum Nahin and Zamane ko Dikhane Hai (1981).
It is Nasir Hussain who is reponsible for the emergence of the free-wheeling, hip-swinging, happy go lucky romantic hero that one sees in Bollywood even today. Starting first with Dev Anand in films like Munimjee and Paying Guest (both of which he wrote) and then of course Shammi Kapoor in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Junglee (1961), Bluff Master (1963), Jaanwar (1965) and countless other films. And certainly no other Hindi film hero made the art of boy chasing girl a more enjoyable and playful affair than Shammi Kapoor. While other heroes of the time were more reserved and gentlemanly in their manner, Shammi Kapoor in contrast wooed the girl with boisterous sensuality accompanied by a brash, cocky swagger and an energetic eagerness to rebuke convention.
Apart from the films he directed, Nasir Hussain produced the landmark thriller Teesri Manzil. With Hussain's story and Vijay Anand's slick direction, energetic performances by Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, unforgettable music by R.D. Burman (O Haseena Zulfonwali, O Mere Sona Re, Deewaana Mujhsa Nahin, Humne Tumhe Dekha, Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera), the film remains one of the definitive comedy-thrillers in Bollywood's history. In fact Teesri Manzil and Yaadon ki Baraat are perhaps the best examples of Nasir Hussain's unique style of filmmaking. Though the former was directed by Vijay Anand (who also directed films like Nau Do Gyrarah (1957), Kala Bazaar (1960), Tere Ghar ke Samne (1963), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Johny Mera Naam (1970) among others) it clearly is a Nasir Hussain film in terms of its scenes, story flow and treatment. Even though Yaadon ki Baraat was written by Salim-Javed who had written Zanjeer the same year and both stories dealt with the hero thirsting after his father's killer (Ajit in both the films), the films are as alike as chalk and cheese. While Zanjeer is an intense hard hitting film in the normal tradition of Salim-Javed, Yaadon Ki Baraat is a Nasir Hussain film in every sense with lost and found, romance, boy chasing girl, fantastic music all blended in beautifully with the revenge track. Following the failure of Manzil Manzil (1984) and Zabardast (1985), Hussain stopped directing films. His son Mansoor Khan took over the reigns of Nasir Hussain Films and Hussain continued to write dialogues for Mansoor's films like Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992). Nasir Hussain finally got some sort of belated recognition in 1997 when he was presented with a special Filmfare Award for his contribution to Hindi Cinema.
• Filmfare Best Screenplay Award--Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) • Filmfare Best Movie Award--Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) • Filmfare Special Award (1996)
Nasir Hussain died of a heart attack in Mumbai on Tuesday, March 13. He was 76. He was father of director Mansoor Khan and Nuzhat Hussain, Uncle of well known actor Aamir Khan, Faisal Khan, Farhat Khan, and Nikhat Khan. His grandson (son of Nuzhat) Imran Khan became the sensation of 2008, with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. While launching their nephew, producer Aamir Khan dedicated the film to his chacha jaan, Nasir Hussain, the man who had launched him in QSQT, 20 years back.