Nebha Odedara is from the Maher community of Gujarat. This photograph was taken in November 2016 at a hut on the farm where his family works, in Dhruvala village of Porbandar district.

Nebha himself made the hookah he is holding. He used bits and pieces from around his house and the farm. The base/water jar is the hard shell of a coconut. A wooden pipe, originally made for some other purpose, is used as a hose. The bowl for charcoal and the stem of the hookah have come from an implement used for sowing.

Odedara has lived all his life on remote rural farms, where transportation and accessibility to retail shops are rare. It’s difficult for him to regularly walk to nearby villages for beedis or buy them in bulk. Besides, loose tobacco is cheaper than commercially-made low quality beedis. So he made the hookah, stocks tobacco in airtight jars, and occasionally enjoys a quiet smoke.

Ramesh Odedara

Ramesh Odedara is a healthcare professional who lives in Edmonton, Canada.

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