Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A sculptor's dosas

A couple of days ago, in response to an argument about the best Masala Dosas in town, S categorically stated that her mother was the leading masala dosa artiste, and that her creations were unparalleled. But she also claimed that a certain dosa haunt in south Bangalore was quite good, and since everybody agreed that that this place really sucked big time, S's opinion about her mother's dosas came under attack. So in retaliation, S invited us to her home in order to see (eat) for ourselves. We accepted, and one fine day headed out to her home, which apparently is in Back-of-Beyond-Nagar. The trip was uneventful, but I did feel like we were on a road trip. So we duly went inside and met S's mother who I shall disguise with the letter K. K is one of Bangalore's most famous sculptors and the house showed it. The place was littered with statues. Even as we walked up to the door, dozens of heads peered at us curiously from a high shelf. Two tiny dogs guarded the entrance to the house. We went in, sat and ate, accompanied by the cricket match on TV, and I have to state that the dosa was one of the best I've eaten, but the chutney was clearly in a class of its own. However, K was not too pleased with her output that day, she kept saying that the colour was a bit off, etc,- a true indication of an artistic process. Later, K took us around the studio. I was really struck by the diversity of the work. There were so many different styles, and materials that it was quite amazing. The most fascinating ones were the fibreglass busts which looked solid as marble but were light as plastic. As we wandered through the garden, I saw many unfinished works, and images seemed to eager and willing to leap out of the stone. One in particular was left unfinished (unfinished by K's guru) and the very unfinished nature of the sculpture gave it a sense of age that would be quite missing from a smooth version. It reminded me so much of the Angkor Wat carvings. K had heard about my studying spiders etc, so she quite happily pointed out where the spiders were in plenty, quite amused by my fascination. The mini tour ended all too soon, and we had to hurry back to avoid the rain. We came for the dosas but left with something more filling.