In those days the accompanists enjoyed great respect among musicians. A family atmosphere prevailed on the stage. When a senior mridangist took his choice of Krithi and Thala for his Thani Avarthanam, it was welcomed, & not mistaken. The mood of the Laya Vidwan was respected & his imagination was enjoyed. Today many musicians are not prepared to accept this. They feel that it is their prerogative to fix the time, Krithi & Thala for Thani or do not offer time for Thani at all. Some pretend to be forgetful. This attitude of disrespect & egoism has frustrated manya senior percussionist.
Every sincere Laya Vidwan is capable of playing a Thani in any Thala provided it is offered with genuineness & not for fun. Some musicians try to tease the percussionists by giving rare Thalas for Thani without prior intimation. They would do so even with Vidwans having decades of experience & have records of having met with greater challenges in their prime time.
As for suitable Thalas, the four popular Thalas, namely, Chaturashra Thriputa (Adi Thalam), Thrishra Eka (the so called Rupakam), Mishra Chapu & Kanda Chapu are most appropriate. When a Pallavi is sung in a rare Thals, a small Thani can be played in the end to highlight the scope for imagination in that Thala. A prior briefing will only enhance the confidence & power of imagination of the percussionists.