I am lucky to have access to many wonderful instruments. For percussion, I mainly play tabla (more information below), though I also occasionally play dumbek, pakhawaj, and ghatam. For melody, I mainly play the mohan veena, lap steel guitar, and a "banjabab" a tenor banjo I modified (more information below). I have modified the tenor banjo and lap steel to make it easier to play Hindustani (North Indian classical) music on them.
Tabla is a North Indian classical drum. There are two pieces, a larger drum made of brass or aluminum, and a smaller drum made of wood. The leather heads are held in place and given tension by adjustable leather straps down the sides. Listen to a sample.
Modified Lap Steel Guitar
I modified a solid body 8 string lap steel in order to more easily play mohan veena style on it. One of the characteristics of Hindustani classical melody I like is playing jhalla, fast passages that rely on the strumming of chikari (open drone) strings, functionally similar to a banjo's 5th string. I added a banjo tuning peg and post half way up the neck to create a high-octave chikari (drone) string, and use a regular string slot to have a second chikari string an octave lower. I play them with a thumb pick. There are three main playing strings. I play with a glass bottleneck slide. Listen to a sample.
I play a tenor banjo in the style of the sarod as taught to me by my guruji, the maestro Soumya Chakraverty. The instrument ha a similar sound to the rabab, so I call it the banjabab (a portmanteau of banjo and rabab). I use a traditional jabba (a coconut shell plectrum) and fret the strings with my finger nails. The smooth fingerboard and flatwound strings facilitate playing meend (portamento), an important means of emotional expression in Hindustani music. To create the banjabab, I removed the frets from a tenor banjo. Shivali Shah filled and finished the fretboard smooth (the remaining fret marks are dark colored wood filler). I ground down part of the metal tension hoop to accommodate the lower action. Listen to a sample.