Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Dosa for You!

Brian Feldman staged a project inspired by Taco Truck Taste Test called "Dosa Vu." It took place at the Apna Bazaar supermarket which is located who knows where, someplace way south on OBT. Around the same time, Dina Peterson was showing a friend of hers from Boston named Ian the Parliament House Sunday Piano Bar. I stopped into the bar but the place was pretty quiet and Dina and her friend hadn't arrived yet. I texted her to let her know I was going to try and get a quick sketch at Brian's event.

The Indian supermarket was impossible to find. Nestled between car dealerships, the place was set far back from the road and building numbers were impossible to see. I drove in circles and got to the place about half an hour late. I thought Brian had said it was inside an indoor flea market. I wandered the aisles of the flea market looking for Brian. There was a booth of used furniture, a booth of pillows and a huge assortment of brick-a-brack at bargain prices. There must have been 50 booths but no Indian food. Outside, I looked at the event page again on my iPhone and it said the dosa dealer was in a store NEXT to the flea market. UGH! I rounded the corner and there was Brian, his girlfriend Sultana and Angela Abrusci.

Sultana introduced me to Joe inside and ordered a dosa for me. Joe stood in front of a cabinet case full of colorful shampoos and soaps. As he prepared my food, I sat down and started sketching. The food was finished before my sketch and Brian took it to the small table outside. There was a steady stream of customers. One man walked up to Joe and started whispering to him. Later the same man stood in front of me and started asking questions. "What are you doing?" I thought to myself, "Here we go again," and said with a smile, "I'm sketching." "What kind of art is that?," he asked. I turned the sketchbook around to show him the sketch and and rattled on about illustrative journalism. He frowned at the unfinished sketch. He wasn't impressed. "Did you ask permission?" he asked. I though, "If I asked permission every time I wanted to sketch, I would never accomplish anything." What I said was, "Who should I ask?" He explained that the store was private property. We continued this power struggle for some time, as I kept looking at the details behind him and sketching. I thanked him for his interest and rushed to finish the sketch before he called the police.

With the hasty sketch finished I went outside to find Brian and his entourage. They were gone. The much anticipated dosa was gone. I suddenly felt very hungry, but didn't feel welcome back inside so I left. I drove back to the Parliament House where Dina gave me half of her sandwich from lunch. Dina and I sang Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" together into a diamond studded microphone and the crowd joined along swaying with the chorus. Now the place was packed. Later we all sang "Oh Happy Day" with our hands raised as we danced. I felt the warmth and fellowship of being among friends. Where I felt misunderstood, I now felt accepted. The dosa was forgotten.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


joco said...

I'm gobsmacked about the way they are treating artists in your country. It seems so daft not to let you get on with it. You could hardly be considered an interruption of proceedings or a danger. I'm afraid my hand would shake too much to get anything down on paper if I had to look over my shoulder all the time.

Unknown said...

That's crazy!

Ivanhoe said...


I can assure you that won't happen in Ivanhoe Village. And if it does...I will personally go out and talk to anyone that gives you a hard time.

SKIZO said...