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Now that?s one haunting number

The latest victim to fall prey to superstitions is composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 05:04 IST

The latest victim to fall prey to superstitions is composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya.

Residents of Bhalej, about 80 km from Ahmedabad in Anand district, have banned his popular score "Jhalak dikhla ja..." saying those who listen to it or sing it get possessed.

The villagers cite several cases to substantiate their claim. For instance, Firoz Thakor, 25, was allegedly possessed by a spirit 10 days ago while singing the song in the evening. "He wasn't talking to anybody but himself and refused to budge from the place where he was sitting. He only became normal when we consulted the maulana," said Aarif, Firoz's elder brother.

"Getting possessed by evil power is not a new phenomenon. But of late the trend has increased. The evil follows you because the lyrics of the song have the words Aaja aaja that invite the ghost," said Isamiya Master, a retired schoolteacher in Thakor Mohalla.

"Since the evil has 'infected' five to six people, we have decided that nobody here would play the song," he said.

Celestial wedding

Lakhs of people poured into Sambalpur, Orissa, to witness the 'celestial wedding' of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on Thursday with priests chanting slokas on 'Sital Sashthi'.

The 'wedding' took place at three places in the city with the rituals continuing through the night to culminate this morning. As per tradition, couples from different localities in the town don the role of bride Parvati's parents and the barat accompanying the idol of Lord Shiva is taken out with much pomp and ceremony.

While one barat was taken out from the Balunkeswar temple at Nandapada, the other two processions began from the Loknath temple at Jhaduapada and Jageswar temple in the city. Feasts were thrown by the host couples to celebrate the event in the same fashion as traditional marriages are held. New couples are chosen to be hosts every year. About Rs 23 lakh is spent on the weddings.

Rogue tusker tamed

After a long hunt, a joint team of forest and tribals on Thursday tranquillized a rogue tusker, which had gored several people and destroyed vast tracts of farmland, and managed to lock it in a specially-built cage.

The hunt for the tusker (25 years), nicknamed Kolakolli, started almost one month ago, when the nomadic loner came down from the hills in search of water and food making the life of poor tribals miserable. Apart from four trainer elephants brought from Tamil Nadu, vets armed with dart-tipped tranquillizers and 50-odd forest and tribal squad were hot on the trail of the villain of the man-animal conflict.

Thursday morning, the tusker was spotted in Podiyakkala, a tribal colony, and shot with a mild tranquillizer.

First Published: Jun 02, 2006 05:04 IST