I hosted a tenant from Montreal for one month in my guest house. His name is Will Eizlini but my family gave him a Indian name- Willu. His friend Bijay had contacted me through some Lonely Planet Forum posting where somebody had recommended my name. I still don’t know who did that but I was happy to get a long term tenant. Willu wanted to learn Tabla in Varanasi but he didn’t know any teacher therefore I told him about Pandit Shivnath Mishra’s school. Even though they are famous for Sitar but they have Tabla teachers also.
Willu works as web developer and he could work from anywhere in the world, he just needed Internet connection. So he asked me if I had Internet or not. I had Internet in my room but not in guest’s room but I always wanted to give Internet to all my guests so this was the best opportunity for me to spread Internet in my home. First I thought to buy Wi-Fi modem but my service provider suggested that Wi-Fi still doesn’t work well in India so I bought a router and spread the wire in all rooms. Thanks Willu to make me spread Internet in all the rooms.
Willu was happy to attend his office right from my room. I was also amazed to see him working for Canadian company right from my house. He would make over Canadian $30 per hour, it was a amazing salary for a traveler. I think his job was best for a traveler. Willu took Tabla classes at Shivnath Mishra’s school for 3 days but he was not happy with them because his Tabla teacher could not speak any English. Willu didn’t want a fluent English speaking tabla teacher but he wanted his teacher to be able to make him understand the things.
At the same time there was a live show of Pandit Shivnath Mishra, his son Pandit Deobrat Mishara and Fazal Qureshi (brother of Zakir Hussain) in Diamond Hotel, Varanasi. I was invited by Pandit Deobrat Mishra but Willu had to pay Rs. 500 to go there. We saw that show and it was amazing, really amazing. I loved seeing Fazal Qureshi as he was so fast on Tabla. Sitar was kind of boring for me but I loved Tabla. I had never ever seen someone playing that fast Tabla before.
Willu met few Canadians there who were also learning Tabla in Varanasi. They were going to Mr. Pravin Uddhav who was professor of Indian classical music at BHU (Benares Hindu University). All those Canadians recommended him and we also decided to meet him. We went to his residence next day which was inside the BHU campus. I left Willu and came back and when Willu came back to home he was so happy that finally he got the right teacher. Willu said that Pravin Uddhav was very good Tabla player and he could good enough English to make people understand.
Willu quit going to Pandit Deobrat Mishra’s school and learnt with Pravin Uddhav for one month. Willu flew back to Chennai after one month. He wanted to stay longer in Varanasi but his another instrument (don’t remember the name) teacher was going to perform a live show in Banglore which Willlu wanted to attend.