|British officer smoking hookah/ burdar before his servant- .www.pinterest.com|
The English in India were actively involved in mercantile trade initially in 1600s. Having firmly set their foot here, later they went after the task of land grabbing from Maharajahs and Nawobs; a subtle expansion of imperialism. In the course of their long official meetings and deliberations with the Muslim rulers, in particular, they were introduced to the custom of smoking hookah and over a long period of time adopted some Indian customs to be at ease with the natives, such as smoking hookah while remaining distinctly British without shedding their
|A hookah en.wikipedia|
Many Europeans who had been in India for some time, became "absolutely slaves to their hookahs; which, excepting while sleeping, or in the early parts of meals, were ever at hand." It was a way of relaxation in the midst of their hectic official work in a strange, hot country.
|Woman Honor Thyself|
|The Sydney Morning Herald|
'The most highly-dressed and splendid hookah was prepared for me. I tried it, but did not like it. As after several trials I still found it disagreeable, I with much gravity requested to know whether it was indispensably necessary that I should become a smoker, which was answered with equal gravity, "Undoubtedly it is, for you might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion. Here everybody uses a hookah, and it is impossible to get on without ... have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be deprived of their dinner than their hookah.'