Urban Legends: From Manjulika to Kaala Bandar to Stree

All with the movie ‘Stree’ releasing today, it is talks about Urban Legends that is most prevailing around. Who says we have less Urban Legends to wonder about. While many of them were propagated under ignorance and mostly concentrated on the fear that it instigated.Indian Urban Legends that used to give goosebumps to the listeners and were topics of general conversation and those ghost nights.

These were stories that lingered in the hearts of people and most were formed because of active imaginations or incidents or some hoax news making them quite fascinating. India is a diverse country with many mysteries and stories, many religions, many cultures, many rituals and many versions of people, urban legends have been a part of us since ancient times. We too occasionally enjoy the hype created among them and make them a source of entertainment. Be it the ghost of Manjulika in Bhoolbhulaiya or the Kaala Bandar of Delhi 6, we all have had our ear full of gossiping and maybe even adding some salt to it.

 

Here are some of the legends that we know and how we think they came to be:

 

Milk drinking Lord Ganesh

People used to pray to different Gods for some miracles since always and we also believed easily in miracles related to God. So did the people in Delhi in 1995 when idols of Ganesha were suddenly reported to be drinking milk. Sooner, not later the temples and pandals were filled with people who offered milk to the idols of Lord Ganesha. This not just increased the popularity of Lord Ganesh but there was an increase in the sale of milk that year. Guess who got the most benefit out of it?

 

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Himesh Reshammiya’s song attracting spirits

 

We do know that Himesh Reshammiya’s singing style attract headaches to some listeners and his antics to most listeners but in a village near Gujarat, the song ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ created an otherworldly panic because the song made spirits showing Jhalaks and the listeners were possessed while listening to this songs. Sounds like ghosts were fans of Himesh or wanted people to stop playing the song.

 

Naale Ba

In the late 90’s, Bangalore city was terrorized by a famous urban legend, that at night, a woman would knock the door of the houses shouting the names of people in their mother’s voice and if anyone opened the door he would be subjected to a certain death. Soon people started to write “Naale Ba “ on their doors to indicate the ghost to come tomorrow. I still hope for Bangalore people that ghosts listen better than the kids here seriously and are Kannada educated.

However, something same was reported in Delhi too and there people knew the ghosts were not as educated, so they left imprints of female hands made with kumkum, turmeric and henna.

 

Lady in white at Bangalore International Airport

In 2008, airport staff were stunned to watch a lady in white sari appearing and disappearing on runways. After reporting that, a ground member picked her up and before reaching the terminal she disappeared. I still try to spot that lady on the runway to tell her she is breaking so many laws by running on runways. But I guess this much exercise burned all of her fat and muscles.

 

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Witches have their leg facing backwards

This legend is a part of many horror stories told in rural India. They say that to spot a witch three things are important a) long uncut hair b) black attire and c) legs facing backwards. Even some old people stated that they had spotted witches talking on empty streets at midnight. Those stories always used to scare the kids. But now I remember, my boss here has a) long hair- check, b) black attire – most of the times- check & c) backwards feet- never really saw them, she kicks very fast.

 

Monkey man of Delhi

Ever seen the movie Delhi 6? That movie was based on this infamous incident of Delhi where, in the night, people were being attacked by a monkey man. There were reports of people being scratched and injured by the beastly attack. The attacking monkey was black in color, supposedly six feet, walked on two feet and liked to torture people. To be frank, I am trying to find the man…the monkey…the monkeyman in our politics these days.

 

 

It’s true that the Urban Legends become the interesting part of this mundane life and brings a little fun, fear, thrill and excitement about it. We still don’t know if any of the legend is true or not. But we do know whenever we listened to these legends we used to get goosebumps and lots of laughter too.

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