UDAIPUR, India // While walking around Udaipur we checked out a music store and decided spontaneously to take a lesson in the tabla. We have heard people playing it all over India as it is a Hindustani staple instrument in all the music here. Your right hand plays the melody with quick taps and the left plays with bass note strums. It takes incredible coordination and concentration. Everytime we messed up our instructor Surish would say, "no worry, I am good only because I play for over 20 yeeeeeeears" He was hilarious and fun as he smoked his hand rolled cigarettes and gave us an hour lesson.
I've thought a lot recently about the people we have met in India so far, and the interactions with them. We've been in India for 10 days and I honestly expected more scams and dishonesty from the people. What I find is that the people (primarily business owners) have come to a good realIzation // it is better for them to get a positive online review and a good reputation than an extra 100 rupees ($1.50 USD) upfront.
I had expected people to trick us or make us pay extra for certain things, such as an extra 10 minutes of music lessons, or a massage with different Ayurvedic oil, or a free bracelet at the end of a cooking class. I had expected and anticipated all of this, but it never happened. I was actually pretty shocked. What the people did ask for instead of extra money was a positive review online for them. It comforts me to know they understand a good reputation in the long run is far more profitable and lucrative than trying to squeeze an extra 100 rupees off of a tourist. If they have good online reviews, then people will continually come and buy their service and they will constantly have good business. It makes me happy to know that JP at the Ayurvedic massages place, Surish at the music store, and Shashi at the cooking class all understand this. All of their services were fun, great quality, and I'd recommend them to a friend. I wish their business the best in the future and hope the honesty keeps up throughout our travels.