Some lounges keep the hookah bubbling
A day after the BBMP council’s decision to ban hookahs, some outlets have withdrawn the hookah, while others still offer the service as formal ban orders have not reached them. But you could buy one for your house, as a private supplier of hookahs is still doing good business.
Mocha Coffee Bar and Lounge on Lavelle Road has withdrawn the hookah service. “The owners and managers are discussing the BBMP council’s decision. Today, there won’t be hookah. We have to see whether we’ll have it later, depending on the discussion,” a cafe representative said.
Another pub and eatery on Infantry Road is offering the service, though. “We haven’t received formal orders or any notice. Till then, customers can avail of the hookah. It is very popular among the youth and executives,” a staffer said. Nearly 30 to 40 customers order for the hookah per day, and each could have two or three rounds. Each round costs Rs 300 to Rs 350.
Many coffee shops, too, had hookah services till recently, but withdrew it after police came calling and asked them if they were permitted to sell hookah.
A popular coffee and cake centre at Nagarbhavi did not confirm whether it would or would not offer hookah. Another popular coffee outlet on Church Street also offers hookah in many flavours, like strawberry, mint and cappuccino. The service is on till formal orders reach the outlet.
WHAT IS A HOOKAH?
The hookah, which looks like an import straight out of the Arabian Nights, is a pot-like vessel with a water pipe — a single or multi-stemmed (glass-based or steel, brass and aluminium) instrument used for smoking. The tobacco smoke, referred to as sheesha, is cooled and filtered as it passes through water in this pipe. The tobacco is burnt at the bottom of the instrument using charcoal and the smoke generated wades through the water to the top of the instrument, which has a pipe from which the user can drag the smoke.
The hookah can contain tobacco or non-tobacco base. Tobacco content is usually 5% and may or may not be mixed with non-tobacco, depending on the user. Non-tobacco flavours include strawberry, butterscotch, vanilla, mint etc.