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Jhalak dikhla ja… and so appears the 'bhoot'

Express News Service

Posted: May 31, 2006 at 0918 hrs IST

Bollywood may have stood up for Aamir Khan, but it doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance when it comes to revoking this “ban”. So Himmesh Reshammiya’s hit number Jhalak dikhla ja, ek baar aaja, aaja... may set feet tapping at discotheques, but in Anand district’s Bhalej village, it seems to have set alarm bells ringing.

Why? Residents claim that the lyrics are an invite to “ghosts” who then possess residents. The person possessed - some put this number at five, others at 20 - run a high temperature and behave in a strange manner.

Rationalists and others may dismiss the idea as silly, but the 10,000-odd villagers are so worried that they’ve decided that the song - picturised on serial kisser Emraan Hashmi - won’t be heard in the village. What’s more? They’re seeking divine intervention: approaching the maulvis as well as planning visits to neighbouring temple town Dakor.

Majid Malek, father-in-law of sarpanch Saira Malek, speaks about the problem “plaguing the village since last fortnight”.

“Since the last 15 days, we’ve noticed this problem. There have been about 20 such cases since then,” says Malek. Mushtaq Thakore says there have been around five such cases, including that of a newly wedded girl Sartajbanu.

“The lyrics are such that they draw the attention of the ghosts, after which the person starts screaming and also runs a high temperature. The only way out is to seek divine help. Muslims go to maulvis, Hindus to their godmen,” Mushtaq says.

Incidentally, the ghosts also have a particular spot where they choose their “victim”. The graveyard adjoining the lake.

After realising that the song could be the “root cause” of the “possession problem”, the village has decided to clamp down on it. The song may be a hit with wedding parties, but not in Bhalej. Allarakha, a musician with Rahi Music Band, says, “We get many requests to play different numbers, but we are asked by villagers to avoid this number.”

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