A chilla is the ultimate challenge for the artist; forty days (and nights) of practicing within a completely isolated environment. A chilla is anything done forty days without stopping - five minute practices done every day at the same time is a chilla. The length of the practice is not a factor, only the forty day discipline. Chillas can take place within any art form or any practice which requires constant feeding of the mind and body with what one is striving to attain.

If riaz is a form of worship, then performing an intensive chilla is to sit beside the one you worship. Yet, neither strict riaz or several chillas will guarantee one of becoming a great musician. The passing of time will not reward one with the hand of greatness. Nor will volumes of repertoire achieve this place in history. After all, the ability to play even the most complex composition does not reflect one's abilities as a musician. The music with which the tabla player accompanies is and should be the only focus during a given performance. An opportunity for a solo within one’s accompaniment does not mean that Kaida #45 should be played in it's complete entirety. Such selfish and unmusical attitudes will surely end the career of any artists who puts him/herself first before the music.