A far cry from the fancy, stylish, exotic and ornate hookahs or hukkas now available in a number of varieties and designs to choose from, my grandpa’s hookah was a simple mundane affair , a non-fussy wooden structure , about 18 inches in height , with a brass bowl as the base. The brass bowl had an opening on one side from where to fill it with water and also to insert the wooden pipe with a brass end. One the top of the hukka was placed an earthen katori , which had to be filled with some dried tobacco and burnt charcoal taken right from the kitchen chulha. .
Grandpa, in his eighties some 45 years back was agile and alert , would walk straight, though he needed a stick for support due to poor eyesight. Having served under the British, he had travelled up to Kabul. . His hukka was very dear to him, beedis or cigarette being only a poor substitute , if need be.Whenever we visited our village during vacation or for some ceremony,