Book Review – The Green Room by Wendell Rodricks

November 4, 2012

A week back Blogadda sent me over this amazing autobiography by the well known designer Wendell Rodricks for review purposes. The first thing I saw was the cover; Malaika Arora Khan calling it a “show time”.

What does the back cover say?
No one belongs here
except beautiful mannequins, make-up and hair armies,
dressers culled from local fashion schools and
the designer’s team. Should a hapless tailor, steam-press man
or technician cross the hallowed threshold of the green room,
he is greeted with flashing, angry kohled eyes
and half – naked models clutching their breasts and shrieking
in unison: ‘Get out, get out! What the hell is going on?
Who the fuck is this guy? Bahar jao! Get out!’
The shocked man, head at navel level of the six-foot divas,
looks like a rabbit caught in a Guantanamo Bay strobe.

Makes me think..
Is this 356 pages thick book all about “The green room”? Certainly not!

What is it about?
I will call it a parallel walk through the life of Wendell Rodricks and journey of Indian fashion from late 20’s to the present.
A journey of middle class boy born to Goan parents, who has seen the extremes; from tasting the village life in Goa, to struggling a life from Mumbai chawls to clinking champagnes with rich and famous. His life is truly an inspiration to those, who give up in life so easily. Hard work, patience and determination is what Wendell Rodricks has always lived with as he started off as a chef in Oman but god had other plans for him . He recalls the time when hope was the only hope, and the people surrounding him. The year of 1992 when India saw angry mobs of people distinguished in the name of Allah and Ram killing each other, his life was affected when his loyal tailor faced the heat.
Excerpt : What happened?’ I asked, offering him a glass of water.
‘They came to kill us. Took off a tile from our roof and threw a flaming torch into the house. I could hear my neighbours crying and shouting for help. But they locked us in to burn to death. I had the presence of mind to cover the torch immediately with a mattress.
Then, when it was quiet, I levered the door from its hinge and came cycling here.’ I was shocked.
‘Boss, I want to go home. I cannot stay here.’ Tawqir sobbed. ‘They want to kill us.’
I stroked his head and cradled him in my arms, thinking about leaving the city of my birth. ‘Don’t worry Tawqir,’ I whispered. ‘We will go and live in Goa. Don’t go home yet. You have worked with me for so many years. We will start a life elsewhere.’

What I Like?
The history of fashion industry compressed and composed in a the best possible manner. I was actually able to learn facts and stories from this industry which took place when I was a toddler.
Plus point, that Wendell ran his life’s story parallel to this history and tried connecting the two.
This novel is a well versed combination of facts, non-fiction, inspiration and complex relations of life.

Plus Point :

A visual treat hiding in between the pages of this book!

Hint (From  Jr.Rodricks to Designer Rodricks)

Looking forward to?
Maybe a sequel to this book, maybe 10-20 years from today!! ^_^

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