From hookahs to Shishas…

Hookah-known to be originated in North Western part of India near the borders of Pakistan in the 15th century was considered less adverse than other means of smoke. Hakim Abul Fateh Gilani, who was a physician in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, invented the Hookah after Asad Beg, then ambassador of Bijapur, encouraged Akbar to take up smoking.Following popularity among nobelmen,  Hookah (single or multi-stemmed, glass based instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water.) soon became a status symbol for Indian aristocracy and gentry.

In India, smoking hookahs is a great tradition among Rajputs, Gurjars, Jats, Bishnois, etc. Use of hookahs wasn’t just a custom but t’was a matter of prestige. Rich and Royal families would smoke Hookahs.

Hookah tradition started decling with the Mughal Rule but It again gained popularity as cafes and restaraunts started offering them as consumables, once again the seeked attention and gained popularity under the name Sheesha (flavored Hookah) among the Indian Youth.

Sheesha- A synonym for Hookah is a Persian word which is dinotated as Glass.The shisha, also called tombac, gouza, moassel, shisha or sheesha, is a special blend of fresh, dark leaves, fruit pulp, honey or molasses, and glycerine. The shisha is available in a wide variety of flavors including double apple, strawberry, melon, pineapple, vanilla, pistachio, and rose. This blend contains only 0.5% nicotine and no tar.

Indian youth trapped in the fumes of sheesha…

A culture that started from the Royal Throne has now turned as a favorite youth leisure hour trend in India.The reasons accredited to this trend are certain misconceptions that water pipe smoking is not hazardous to health, since the tobacco is filtered through water before inhalation; nicotine content is less than that of cigarettes and addition of fruit flavours make it healthier. Another factor adding to its popularity is its social acceptability as compared to cigarettes and its portrayal is a symbol of modernization of our cultural heritage.

A recent survey states that, more than 70% youngsters in the Indian metrocities and other cities like Ludhiyana, Lucknow, Ahemdabad, Bhopal, Indore, Banglore, Pune, Ranchi, Chandigarh, etc have consumed Shisha.

Sheesha is easily available in every round corner across the Indian streets. Youth – teenagers and adolescents – are the prime visitor of these sheesha lounges who will to pay premium for desired flavours of sheesha. Records report of masses who spend hours consuming sheesha. A typical hour long Shisha session involves inhaling 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled when smoking a cigarette.Its smoke also contains hundreds of potentially dangerous substances including carbon monoxide, charcoal, nicotine, arsenic, cobalt, chromium and lead.

Surveys say that sheesha hubs are more crowded during the hours when educational institutions wait for there presence.Which direction is the youth heading to? Seems like attendence at sheesha hubs is getting mandatory…

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3 thoughts on “From hookahs to Shishas…

  1. oh well.

    sensitive issue.

    but you are right. smoking, in any form, is harmful.

    its like saying, “i took small amount of poison, that too in stile, with proper modern lounge setup with my friends, so its better then consuming poison directly in large quantity.”

    the poison remains the poison, no matter what face you give to it.

    same stuff is very popular across bangalore, and infact, 1 of such provider opened his shop near our main campus.

    its all demand supply theory.

    but despite of trends, and no matter how cool it mite look or sound, i’m a proud student who says no to smoking in any form.
    i just wish we could have more of such students, maybe then, things will look better, and we will have india shining in true sense!

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