The flavour of the season is Hookah

An Indian woman with hookah

An Indian woman with hookah

Hookah also known as a water pipe/shisha (sheesha) as the old timers call it has in fact originatedfrom India specifically from the Mughal period. It is said to have been introduced in the court of the Mughal Emperor – Akbar. I found out this fact from a local Iranian seller and I was baffled by this fact!Since it’s a common misconception that Hookah origins from the Arabs as being a part of their culture and traditions.

Hookah was very popular and a sign of prestige for people in the Mughal era. Over the years it was forgotten until recently. Now youths of various age groups line up cafes and restaurants (mostly called hookah bars) which serve hookah in various flavours. And several other coffee shops, clubs and bars all over India are joining the bandwagon. They either convert an internal portion into hookah bars or maximise this new found opportunity by opening a whole new extension. The most popular among the flavours is apple, coffee and mint. Hookah is seen as means of relaxation, one must enjoy completely. One should not be in a hurry to finish, rather they should be patient and derive pleasure in every puff.

Indian youth at hookah bars

Indian youth at hookah bars

Students are heavily attracted towards this easily addictive culture. Fashion statement, craze, or fascination whatever you want to call it – has become a usual practice for several students to visit the hookah bars which have sprung up all over the country. Noticing the rush of youths, vendors set up hookah bars in the vicinity of colleges and youth hangouts, thereby attracting more and more visitors. Student commonly use hookahs in their night studies and late night parties. It is considered incomplete without a hookah corner.

Now-a-days on Indian television and movies, Hookah is presented as a symbol of status and royalty.

On the record, it is depicted by the media as harmful, but off the record most of the popular Indian screen idols regularly use hookah. Also, it isn’t uncommon that most Indian youth have hookahs at their own backyards.This new trend is not confined to any gender as it’s equally popular with the fairer sex too. It is seen as a fashion statement and an icon of style.

I personally like to use hookah for a relaxing and soothing experience, makes me forget problems for a while. I regularly visit local hookah bars or hangouts with friends to chill out. In my circle of friends, all of them enjoy hookah and it is an expression of style,a mark of reputation and the new fashion statement for us as was with our ancestors, so to speak.

 

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