Tuesday, June 27th, 2006...2:29 pm

How To Throw A Hookah Party

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Many people who like to smoke the shisha on their spare time also want to share it with their friends. Here is a little instructional article on How to Throw a Hookah Party for you and a handful of friends.

Hookah Party

When you decide that it’s finally time to throw your own hookah party, there are a few things you are going to need to keep in mind:

Plan a Hookah Party

The happening hookah party is the way to go while hosting a themed party.

Do
• Ask a friend who is making a trip to Mumbai to get you some exotic tobacco flavours
• If you are hosting the bash on a terrace, throw around charpoys instead of regular chairs
• Make the menu predominantly non-veg and set up a barbecue if you have space

Don’t
• Go for very loud music. Soft Arabian tracks is best suited for the theme
Hookahs have long been elevated to status-symbol status, moving out of smoky sanctums into public hot spots all over the country. Its allure is more than just about regal attitude, it is considered to be a less harmful alternative to smoking.

“Hookah is in vogue and getting hooked to hookah is better than smoking cigarettes. It is not very harmful and adds loads of attitude too. The variety of flavours make it my favourite,” says Somik Roy, a second-year student and regular at the city’s hookah bars.

But if you are not very fond of the crowded dance floors, try throwing a hookah party of your own.

Hot spot

The shisha (which means hookah in Arabic, all loaded up and ready to light) will emit a lot of smoke, so it is always advisable to have a hookah party in an open space unless you have proper ventilation facilities. A terrace or a lawn is the best site to fire things up.

Throw around some charpoys instead of tables and chairs. And if you want to be more adventurous, dress the waiters up in Arabian attire.

Flavour facts

There are three types of hookahs — the “grandfather” variety which are several feet tall, the medium-size version that we see everywhere and the small one where you can inhale tobacco directly from the pot. If you are having a hookah party at home it is advisable to use the standard size, as it is not space consuming.

You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to flavours of tobacco. Pick from flavours like peach, apricot, cola, mint, jasmine and strawberry. However, unusual flavours are also catching on. “There is a growing fan following for milk, cappuccino and caramel flavours. Vodka and cocktail flavours are also quite popular,” says Sovon Mukherjee, manager, Shisha Bar.

Flavoured tobacco is brought in from Mumbai, so you should plan your party well in advance as you may have to make a trip yourself. However, normal hookah tobacco is readily available in Calcutta. If you are hell bent on the fancy flavours but don’t have sources in Mumbai, you’ll have to stick to Shisha Bar on 22 Camac Street or Fusion at The Golden Park where you will find everything at your disposal.

Menu matters

Anything non-vegetarian goes down best with the aromatic puffs. Having a barbecue alongside will only add authenticity to the ambience. The smell of roasted meat and the sight of glowing charcoal can take you anywhere from Egypt to Afghanistan.

Indian and Chinese starters could work, but it is Lebanese food that is in vogue. Names like Tagin (Lebanese-style baked fish), pita sandwiches and Fathous (a Lebanese salad) may sound alien, but when they are ready and placed before your guests, they are sure to fly off the plates.

Tune talk

You will have to give loud music a miss for one night. The music has to be soft and soothing, creating a hypnotic effect, helped by the clouds of steam and smoke being let out around the puff party.

In true lounge style, the dance floor is not the centre of attraction. Just sit back and relax.

Arabian music is best suited for the theme of the party. Tracks like Habibi, Nari nari and Al husna are surely going to leave you puffing for more. And if all else fails to soothe your nerves, the original version of Sting’s Desert rose will never let you down.

But if your guests get a hookah high and insist on showing off their dancing prowess, switch over to some Arabian fusion music. It will not disturb the theme of the party and will also provide ample scope for a jig.

“You will always have some people who will want to hit the dance floor. So it is better to keep some hip-hop tracks ready. But it is trance which is going to rule the revelry,” says DJ Girish of Shisha Bar.

Some other things to check out are:

Display some hookah art

Check out some hookah-related warnings

Print out our simple 13 steps to setting up a hookah for your less-smart friends

and Make Some Turkish Coffee to with this secret recipe

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