Hooqah which is also known as water pipe is frequently used since centuries and part of the sub-continent culture. In Pakistan, origins of hooqah are found from western provinces of Indo-Pak and Rajasthan and Gujarat particularly.
Hooqah comes in single and multi-stemmed structures for smoking. The major components of hooqah are:
Bowl: it is the head of hooqah which contains coal and tobacco for smoking.
Windscreen: A windscreen is a cover on the bowl of hooqah; it fits around the bowl and is provided with some holes in it.
Water Jar: It is a kind of vase or a container, or more appropriately it can be said as a base for hooqah to hold the whole structure.
Plate: A plate is placed under the bowl, to keep the ashes of coal and tobacco.
The history of hooqah relates with Abu’l- Fath Gilani, who was a Persian physician in the Mughal Emperor court; he was the first person to do the experiment of passing smoke from a small bowl of water which contains tobacco, and thus invented hooqah.
Although, hooqah is traditionally associated with the culture and an important part of living in the villages, offered to the guests in ‘Autaaq’ and ‘Bethak’ but with the passage of time and bit modification it is now commonly used in cities and is named as Sheesha which comes with different flavors. Sheesha is a synonym for hooqah and it is taken from Persian word ‘Shishe’ which means glass and not a bottle. Not only in the sub-continent but the modern form of hooqah i.e. Sheesha is extensively in use by the rest of the world and its gaining popularity in youngsters.
During winters, hooqah becomes the essential intake for the villagers, it is a custom to keep hooqah at homes and even the female and older members of family sometimes smoke, the ingredients used in villages are weeds, coal of saw dust, dried cow dung, sugar cane jiggery with some proportion of tobacco. On contrary, in cities and developed countries, the modern form of Hooqah which is Sheesha is used with different flavors, smells and wide variety of ingredients.