Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair

I simply can’t resist a book if it is written by a female author and/or deal about women in particular. Though, not a feminist, I’m naturally inclined to read women oriented books. It just so happens that every time I read such novels I get an overwhelming feeling to be born a woman, even though the characters endure suffering, face intense humiliation, and are just there revealing their story. I would be attached to the character and sympathize with them (while my mind calculating as to what to be done next). I take pride in knowing them and truly believe that the characters are real.

Ladies Coupe is one such novel I thoroughly enjoyed reading as the protagonist Akhila speaks of one’s freedom, limits, responsibilities, traditions, and desire. Born in an orthodox family, she falls prey to loneliness and boredom when all the responsibilities surround around her. While she plays the role of a sister and a dutiful daughter forgets the role she is supposed to be in, herself. At 45 (and still single) she sets on a journey to be all by herself for the first time. She boards on Ladies Coupe and get to know her fellow women travelers, their lives, feelings, and difficulties. Akhila also crosses her traditions and customs that binded her till this age and follows her desire sleeping with a young man.

I didn’t understand as to what made her cross this path: to satisfy her desire, to prove her freedom, an attempt to outcast the traditions, or just there giving hardly a thought to it. What does that one-night stand tell the readers?. The novel also does not answer directly the question it raises…. Can a woman stay single and be happy, or does a woman need a man to feel complete? But apart from that it gives a perfect picture of a woman in India. I simply loved this book.

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