Psychologists explain why Bihar dines at jail-themed restaurants

Psychologists explain why Bihar dines at jail-themed restaurants

Contrary to popular belief, patrons' fascination with jail-themed restaurants in Bihar has little to do with curiosity.

Why people visit jail-themed restaurants is anyone’s guess.

While some may argue that abject poverty or homelessness makes being behind bars desirable — or inevitable if you’ve seen Raj Kapoor’s 1951 movie Awara — others, like the characters on The Office (US), may find a jail sentence more eventful compared to their drab workplace.

But people’s fascination with jail-themed eateries popping up across Bihar tells a whole different story — and restaurateurs and psychologists are finally letting us in on the whacky secret about why handcuffs or being brought food by a waiter in a jailor’s costume draws patrons to these places.

Prasansha, the manager of one such restaurant in Hajipur city of Bihar, told TOIthat beyond novelty, people typically find taking photos and “highlight[ing] their status” at a jail restaurant attractive.

Dr Binda Singh concurs with social media validation as one of the fundamental motivations behind such visits.

"Actually, people know they are going to enjoy food in a jail environment," the psychologist explained to the publication. “If put behind bars in real life, two days of time served would be enough to talk them out of it”.

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According to psychologist Dr Krishna Kumar Singh, who works with IGIMS in Patna, it's the experience of “rush” in jail-esque environments.

“They are scrambling to land in jail restaurants because they are very much aware of the fact that neither they face any charges nor there remains chances of getting convicted and their visit is all for fun," said Singh.

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