In the 90s, rural parts of Bangalore in India were haunted by a fear of a ghost walking from door to door. To protect themselves from death, they used to write Nale Ba – come tomorrow.
The sound of a knock on the door can be one of the more terrifying things when you are not expecting someone. In lores and legends, opening the doors for strangers are the biggest mistakes you can make, as you have no control once the door is open. But what if the voice on the other side sounds familiar, like that of a friend or a family member. What do you do then? Before the big urbanization of Bangalore in more recent times, there used to be some pretty rural parts where a particular urban legend struck fear in those who lived there.
This is a popular folk legend that is told primarily in Karnataka, in the south western region of India that truly blew up in the 1990s. Villagers wrote Nale Ba on the walls and doors for many years. Nale Ba or sometimes spelled Naale Baa (ನಾಳೆ ಬಾ) is a Kannada phrase that means come tomorrow in English.
They wrote this phrase to protect their home from an evil spirit that tries to break in. The bridal spirit or ghost is sometimes also referred to as a witch. What her intentions were varied, but in some of the earlier versions she wore ragged clothes, had messy hair and asked for alms like a classic ‘do not open the doors to strangers’ legend. But one of the more popular and retold stories is that she is hunting down the men.
In some variations of the Nale Ba legend it is a bridal ghost that is looking for a husband among the villagers, and she will stop at nothing to get him.
The bridal spirit will usually go for the only son or the man of the house who is the only member of the family earning money, and therefore bringing bad luck not only to the poor man that is taken away, but to the entire family as they are left in ruin.
She goes from door to door in the night and knocks on the doors, trying to get in. When she speaks through the door she speaks in the voice of your kin or familiar person, calling you by the name, so that you will open the door for her. But if you open it, you will most likely die according to the Nale Ba legend.
This is why the villagers came up with the idea of writing Nale Ba on their doors and walls of their homes to protect themselves. The idea is that the bridal ghost or witch will read the words and come back another time. And the cycle will only continue and you will be protected.
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