The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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In India there is a general lack of sensitivity for people who have mental problems. All neurosis is clubbed into one catchall phrase: mental case. There is no mental case spectrum. The kid at St. Joseph's who loves to eat sand is branded as a mental case and the old man suffering from manic depression is also a mental case. With that context, in Bangalore, Nimhans is where the mental cases go to get their head treated.

Its a very serious place with a serious name (Nimhans stands for National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) but the word is now used in jest to refer to someone who is acting mad or as a threat by teachers as a way to curtail deviant behavior in school; as in If you do X, we will admit you to Nimhans.


Teacher: Bulbul why are you poking everyone in the class with your choop pencil? Mad or what? If if you do it again, we will put you in Nimhans.
Added 2011-08-06 by Dishoom Dishoom