He is known as Tassaduq Mufti in the Kashmir Valley, but advertising and film circles know him better as Tassaduq Hussain. The younger brother of Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister-elect Mehbooba Mufti is being introduced in party circles as her aide and a possible future leader.
Tassaduq is the youngest son of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, the former J&K chief minister who died on January 7. According to a report in The Indian Express, Mehbooba Mufti introduced her brother at a party meeting and indicated that once she takes over administration of the state, he might contest the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat from which she had been elected.
Tassduq has stayed far away from politics all these years, and has been busy shooting and making commercials apart from lensing a few movies. Here is a commercial he directed for Jammu and Kashmir Tourism, which depicts the state as a place where time slows down to take in the impossible beauty that is all around. The commercial was produced by Scrambled Eggs Productions.
Among Hussain’s best-known commercials is the highly popular Google Search: Reunion, about how the Internet search engine reunites two friends separated by the Partition. The touching commercial was directed by Amit Sharma and produced by Chrome Pictures.
The 45-year-old Mufti scion studied at the American Film Institute before returning to India in the 2000s to work in advertising. His transformation from a media professional into a reluctant dynast sounds distinctly Shakespearean, and it is therefore fitting that he was introduced into Hindi films in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of the Bard’s Othello in 2006.
Bhardwaj set down Omkara in the sun-kissed fields of Uttar Pradesh (actually Maharashtra), and he spun a superb yarn about sexual politics and casteism. Hussain captured the gamut of emotions and textures of the story, from bold reds and oranges to dark blacks and browns, and his camerawork is one of the movie’s highlights.
Hussain teamed up with Bhardwaj again for the grungy Mumbai-based Kaminey in 2009. A crime thriller in the vein of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino, Kaminey is the story of estranged identical twins, a guitar case full of cocaine, and conflict diamonds.
Hussain has not returned to feature films since Kaminey, but he remains an in-demand cinematographer and director of commercials. Will the filmmaker have to sacrifice his real love the way Rajiv Gandhi gave up flying for politics upon his mother Indira Gandhi’s insistence?