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Darna Mana Hai

Movie poster for Darna Mana Hai
Directed by Prawal Raman
Produced by Ram Gopal Varma,
Taufiq Ahmed
Written by Atul Sabharwal,
Rajnish Thakur,
Abbas Tyrewala
Starring Saif Ali Khan,
Vivek Oberoi,
Nana Patekar,
Boman Irani,
Sanjay Kapoor,
Shilpa Shetty,
Sohail Khan,
Antara Mali,
Sameera Reddy,
Rajpal Yadav,
Aftab Shivdasani,
Isha Koppikar,
Peeya Rai Chowdhary,
Raghuvir Yadav
Music by Salim Merchant,
Suleman Merchant
Cinematography Vishal Sinha
Distributed by K Sera Sera Productions
Release date(s) 25 July 2003
Language Hindi

Darna Mana Hai (Hindi: डरना मना है, Urdu: ڈرنا منع ہے, English: Getting Scared is Forbidden) is a Bollywood production, released on 25 July 2003. It was considered a unique and innovative attempt by (joint) producer Ram Gopal Varma and director Prawal Raman to provide Indian audiences with an anthology horror film which consists of six different short stories. This concept was inspired from the popular Canadian TV-series Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Tales from the Crypt. It stars a host of Bollywood celebrities including Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani, Shilpa Shetty, Sameera Reddy, Isha Koppikar, Nana Patekar, Sohail Khan, and more.



Saif Ali Khan as featured in the film

Darna Mana Hai interweaves six stories into one film. Seven friends get stuck in the middle of a forest when their car breaks down, and they find refuge in an abandoned house. To keep each other amused, they tell each other horror and supernatural stories that they have heard over a bonfire.

Story 1

The first story is about a married couple, Karan (Sohail Khan) and Anjali (Antara Mali), who get stuck in the middle of a forest. After the car stops suddenly, Karan gets out to investigate the problem. After his disappearance, and his constant cries for help from the desolated forest, Anjali runs in to attempt to rescue him. After finding Karan's torch covered in blood, and being stalked by an unseen person or supernatural being, Anjali runs around panicking to find a hand reaching out of a swamp. She then becomes terrified to find that the hand is wearing a watch identical to her husband's. After failed attempts to rescue him, the hand disappears. Someone creeps up on her and as Anjali screams, it turns out to be Karan. Karan seems normal and fine while Anjali, whimpering, attempts to tell him that she heard him screaming. However, Karan tells her that he heard her screams from the forest when he went to retrieve water. She looks at the torch she is holding which is now clean of the blood and then hurries back to the car with Karan telling him to get them both out of there. After quickly fixing the problem with the water, Karan and the panicked Anjali climb into the car and drive off. After seeing the anxious and worried state of Anjali, Karan puts his arm around her as she leans on him and closes her eyes. He then smirks and looks into the rear view mirror of the car in which his reflection is not visible and Anjali seems to be leaning on nothing, thus conveying that he did die in the swamp and is now a ghost.

Story 2

The second story involves a photographer, Anil (Saif Ali Khan), who checks into an inn while he is on his way to Mumbai. The manager and owner (Boman Irani) of the lodge is a strange and eccentric man and insists that smoking is strongly prohibited in his lodge. When Anil tries to go outside for a smoke, the man restricts him, telling him about the diseases that come along with smoking. The owner then locks Anil inside the lodge and tells Anil that in a matter of months, he can cure his smoking addiction. The owner takes Anil to a basement of sort and shows him piles of dead bodies, telling him that he tried but these people would not stop smoking. After a few months, Anil is now seen working in the lodge, and acting strange and eccentric himself. When a customer walks in smoking and asks him for a room, Anil tells him that smoking is strongly prohibited and then proceeds to shoot the man with a gun. The story ends with Anil and the owner sitting together, smiling and watching T.V., when an ad against smoking runs as a commercial.

This story is similar to the story sung in The Eagles' Hotel California. It also shares many thematic elements with Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Psycho.

Story 3

The third story is that of a school teacher (Raghuvir Yadav) who confronts a strange student, Pramila, who is always punished for not completing her homework. Then, suddenly she becomes a bright student and starts doing her homework regularly, but ironically, on her homework he sees she has drawn an ॐ (Om) showing the sign of god. This causes him to act strangely. After a few weeks, he decides to go to Pramila's house. Her mother confronts him and he tells her mother that he murdered a bright classmate in jealousy and thinks Pramila is a reincarnation of the classmate and she drew the om sign to prove it. Later, the teacher loses his sanity.

Story 4


The fourth story revolves around a housewife (Shilpa Shetty) who buys "mysterious" apples from a strange vendor (Rajpal Yadav). When she gets home her husband (Sanjay Kapoor) eats one of the apples and finds it very tasty. The wife worries if something might happen to him after eating them as she found the vendor who sold the apples to her very suspicious. The next morning when she wakes up she is shocked to find an apple next to her instead of her husband. She is shocked when she realises that her husband has turned into an apple after eating it. So she runs outside and is even more shocked to see apples everywhere on the ground after every person who has eaten them has turned into them. The vendor man then appears with an evil look offering her his last apple for free.

Story 5

In the fifth story, an elderly man named John (Nana Patekar) is standing at a graveyard. A young man, Amar (Vivek Oberoi), passes by and gives lift to John. Amar asks John why he was at the graveyard. (Amar thought that John's wife is dead so he might have come to her cemetery). But John says that it is him who is dead. Amar dismisses it as a joke. After some more conversation, Amar gets irritated by John's strange behavior. Amar, then gets out of the car and asks John to get out. Finally John says he works for MTV Bakra (a program on similar lines as Punk'd) and Amar is the first person who was not scared. Amar says that he was not scared because he knew beforehand that John was not a ghost. He tells him that he knew this because he himself is a ghost. John thinks that Amar is now trying to play a prank on him. But when Amar takes off his sunglasses, his eyes are hollow. When John sees this, he dies of shock.

After the end of a story, one friend would go into the forest. After this story, only two are left behind as none of the five has come back. They start discussing other stuff when suddenly a man appears, sitting at a corner. The strange man (revealed to be Sushant Singh) approaches the two and tells them that he has heard the five stories and asks the boy out of the two to tell a story and narrates the following.

Story 6

The sixth and final story is about a young student, Purab (Aftab Shivdasani), and his love interest, Abhilasha (Isha Koppikar). Purab contemplates suicide because Abhilasha rejects his advances and nobody else in his college likes him either. He rants about not being special in front of an idol. Later, he suddenly discovers that he has developed an extraordinary ability - he can immobilize a particular person just by saying “stop” to them. Purab uses his ability to freeze Abhilasha and later immitates it to her by immobilizing a number of students in their college. Abhilasha, frightened of Purab's power, agrees to date him. Thereafter, Purab goes to his house and uses his power once on his father on his way to his room. In his room, he, in delight of his ability, starts making plans to use his power to steal and looking into the mirror, he says "stop" which freezes him on the spot. His father finds him like that in his room, with a victorious smile frozen on his face. He is immediately rushed to the hospital but nothing can be done for him.


The strange man then tells the two that it is now his turn to tell a story. He tells them a story which they happen to be familiar with but only partly. The story he tells is that, one night, a group of seven friends are travelling when their car breaks down and they seek shelter under a ruined shack and they start telling stories to each other to spend time. After each story, one friend (supposedly frightened) goes out into the forest and getting killed one by one until only two are left who stop telling stories and the bored killer comes out to them. The killers appears to be the very same strange man and he tells that he has only reason for the murders that is fear and that he cannot stand it and would kill anyone who is scared. So, he kills the boy out of two and the girl, Shruti (Sameera Reddy), runs into the forest as fast as she can but the killer catches up with her and stabs her. She manages to kill the killer before falling unconscious.

When day breaks, Shruti wakes up and walks up to the main road to find that the place is swarming with police and her friends' bodies being taken into ambulances when she sees the killer standing by a car, smiling. Shruti tries to tell the police that the man (pointing at the killer) is the murderer but the police take no notice of her and the killer points out at a body which she shockingly discovers to be her own and realizes that she too is dead and watches, with tears, their bodies being taken away soon joined by her friends and the killer.

Box office

The film, which opened in mid-2003, opened to an average response, but the box office figures declined rapidly after bad reviews and negative word-of-mouth. Domestically it earned $132,348. Although it was acclaimed for its daring and unique plot, DMH received a flop status [1].



  • Director: Prawaal Raman
  • Producer: Ram Gopal Varma
  • Production House: K Sera Sera, Varma Corporation Ltd.
  • Cinematography: Vishal Sinha
  • Action: Allan Amin
  • Art: Sunil Nigvekar
  • Editor: Amit Parmar, Nipun Gupta
  • Screenplay: Atul Sabharwal, Abbas Tyrewala
  • Dialogue: Atul Sabharwal, Abbas Tyrewala
  • Story/Writer: Atul Sabharwal, Abbas Tyrewala, Rajneesh Thakur
  • Music: Salim Suleiman


Darna Mana Hai:
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Studio album by Salim-Sulaiman
Released 2003
Genre Soundtrack
Length min
Label ZEE Records
Producer Salim Suleiman

The soundtrack features 6 songs composed by Salim-Sulaiman, with lyrics by Lalit Marathe.

Track listing:

  1. "Darna Mana Hai" (4:20) – Sunidhi Chauhan, Ninad Kamat, Naresh Kamat
  2. "Darna Mana Hai Remix" (4:15) – Sunidhi Chauhan, Ninad Kamat, Naresh Kamat
  3. "Homework" (5:11) – Clinton Cerejo, Aparna Jha, Vijay
  4. "Jo Dar Gaya Voh Mar Gaya" (4:45) – Sunidhi Chauhan, Salim Merchant, Naresh Kamat
  5. "No Smoking" (4:56) – Ravi Khote
  6. "Stop" (4:27) – Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan

External links

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