The real horror story of Nale Ba that inspired 'Stree'
'Stree' starring Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao hit the theaters this Friday. Fans and critics alike have lauded the film's mixture of horror and comedy. The performances, societal relevance and its treatment of women set the movie apart. Notably, the film actually deals with a real urban legend - the legend of Nale Ba. Read on to know the truth behind the witch's story.
The night is dark and full of terrors
It tells the story of Stree, a woman's ghost, in the town of Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. Stree haunted the town during the first four nights of Navratri every year. Since she would hunt men and prey on them, they dressed up as women. They also painted their walls saying 'Oh Stree, kal aana' which translates to come tomorrow. Seeing this, the ghost would leave.
Folklore: The legend of Nale Ba and its scary story
Interestingly, 'Stree' is based on a 1990s urban legend in Bangalore. The legend of Nale Ba said that a witch knocked on men's doors every night. Whoever opened the door would die within a day. She would impersonate the voice of loved ones - a wife, a mother or sister. Men could avoid her clutches by saying 'Nale Ba' or 'come tomorrow' in Kannada.
We love our urban legends
Nale Ba's story died out as Bangalore became a hub of professionals and changed to Bengaluru. However, some parts of the city still have Nale Ba written on walls, and believe it or not, April 1 is celebrated as the Nale Ba Day.
Bringing the legend to the screen
Despite the common elements in their haunting styles, 'Stree' offers a backstory of the witch. Nale Ba, notably, does not have an origin story. Director Amar Kaushik said that Nale Ba was one of the many inspirations from myths all over the country. He also justified the background of Madhya Pradesh saying that the humor and setting were better suited for the story.
The film and the box office
Meanwhile, it appears the director was right on his money. 'Stree' opened to an amazing Rs. 6.82 crore on the first day. It is expected to make more money over the weekend. The acting from the main and supporting cast has been phenomenal. According to trade analyst, Taran Adarsh, this coupled with positive word of mouth reviews is the reason behind the film's success.