The first book of my Coronacation was Wendell Rodricks' The Green Room. Interestingly, I picked it up in 2015: I had just received my first salary, and Landmark was having an end of season clearance sale, and only being comfortable splurging on books (I have learned hundred more ways since), I picked it up, not knowing if it was fiction or memoir or what. I subsequently followed him on instagram, and exchanged a few words with him on the comments of his posts, but that's about it. Rodricks' passing a few weeks ago somehow felt personal, and I felt the need to finally pick it up, in on last attempt to connect to him.
I imagined The Green Room would either be rich with an insider's scoop of India's fashion scene, or given Rodricks' social-cultural activist image, would contain insight into fashion. It was neither. It was 350 pages of expensive holidays, luxury cruises and "I was earning 2000 rupees a month,but Jerome coughed up the 5 lakhs I needed". While I admire Rodricks for all that he has done for Goan culture (particularly the Kunbi community) and the minimal aesthetic in India, I wonder if any of his success would have been possible without the support of his partner, not so much emotionally as much financially. I base purely on the narrative and descriptions in his memoirs, The Green Room, which is full of clinches, self congratulatory superlatives and constant catelogues and lintanies of name dropping. (Preyfrus)
To the little me, Wendell Rodricks always stood for possibility - a middle class Konkani boy dreaming big and working hard to dismantle stereotypes and achieve greatness. His memoirs seem to stress otherwise - success isn't possible unless you have a partner. Not any kind of partner, but one who can whisk you away for a 60 day cruise around Latin America, if not a ride in his personal boat down the Mandovi if you're blue. (1/2)
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