Variations in a theka played without disturbing the theme or flow of the theka are called kissm. While accompanying, a tabla player may play various kissm in order to musically and appropriately match the main performing artist's composition.
Some players (such as Pt. Swapan Chaudhari) start their performance with kissm instead of peshkaar.
In his teentaal accompaniment, Shri. Satyajit Talwalkar plays variations of teentaal theka and some mukhdas/phrases to accompany the singer.