A witch roaming the streets at night and knocking on doors: The real Truth of “stree movie”

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stree film is based on the Indian urban legend of ‘Nale Ba’ - a witch roaming the streets at night and knocking on doors.
stree film is based on the Indian urban legend of ‘Nale Ba’ - a witch roaming the streets at night and knocking on doors.

We rarely have the opportunity of waiting with bated breath for a good desi horror film. Stree, a horror comedy seems like a film that could fill the void. Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi steal the show with LOL dialogues, delivered like only they can. Directed by Amar Kaushik, the film also stars Shraddha Kapoor and Aparshakti Khurrana.

Stree revolves around a “ridiculously true phenomenon” of a town petrified of an annual visit of a female spirit who reportedly preys on men. All that’s left of them is their clothes. The question is, is Shraddha’s character that frightening “stree”?

To crank up the buzz around the film, a day ahead of the poster and trailer release, both the leads deleted all of their posts from their Instagram accounts and replaced them with the tagline of the film ‘Mard Ko Dard Hoga’. The caption has made us curious.

The film is based on the Indian urban legend of ‘Nale Ba’ – a witch roaming the streets at night and knocking on doors.

The story behind

The one-minute clip takes you through a deserted lane, with the words “O stree, kal aana” written outside each house. In the end, the camera zooms out, and the silhouette of a woman with her feet hanging in the air can be seen.

From the looks of it, the “ridiculously true phenomenon” referred to in the teaser is “Nale Ba”. Legend has it that in the 1990s before Bengaluru became the vibrant and happening place that it is today, a witch used to roam the streets of the city and hunt for prey.

Apparently, she would knock on doors at night, and call out to the person inside in the voice of a loved one. Whoever was gullible enough to actually open the door would die in the next 24 hours.

Word spread, and soon, it was being treated as the gospel truth. Panic spread among the people until a solution was found – “Nale ba”. Nale ba, which means ‘come tomorrow’ in Kannada, was written on the door to ward off the evil spirit. It was believed that the witch would arrive, see the inscription, and leave.

This legend was so widely believed to be the truth that April 1 is celebrated in some parts of Bengaluru as ‘Nale Ba Day’.

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