Nale Ba

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Nale Ba
Come tomorrow
Mythology Southeast Asian folk mythology
Country India
Region Karnataka

Nale Ba (English: "come tomorrow")[1] is a popular folk legend which features prominently in rural areas across India - namely Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. "Nale Ba" has been found written on walls of small towns and villages for years now. Villagers write this on walls to deter the entry of malevolent spirit into their homes. In some variations of the myth, the spirit is believed to be a bridal ghost who roams around the town in search of her husband. She is known to take away the man of the house who is often the sole earning member of the family, therefore, bringing bad luck to the entire household.

Nale Ba was an urban legend that went viral during the 1990s in Karnataka. The myth goes "a witch roams the streets in the night and knocks the door. The witch apparently speaks in voices of your kin so you would be deceived to open the door. If you open it then you will die." So the residents came up with a smart idea of writing "Nale Ba" outside the doors and the walls of their house. So when the ghost reads it and it goes back to come again the next day and the cycle repeats.

Origin[edit]

The story of "Nale Ba"[2] is one that has been passed down from generations. This word of mouth cautionary tale, warns men of the villages not to roam alone in the night. This began after stories of men disappearing during a certain time of the year emerged in various parts of India. The villagers then stumbled upon the idea of inscribing variations of the term "naale baa bhoota",[3] which directly translates to "Ghost come tomorrow" or "O stree, repu raa" (hey lady, come back tomorrow) on the walls or doors after these mysterious disappearances.

There is no definite origin or proof of this tale, but superstition has lead villagers to still keep the tradition alive.

There was a renewed interest in her legend after reports of similar instances occurred in a village in Thailand [4] wherein healthy young men began to disappear right under their beds in the night.

Popular culture[edit]

The 2018 Bollywood film Stree, starring Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkumar Rao, is based on the 1990s Nale Ba tale from Karnataka.

References[edit]