Book Review - Ladies Coupé

5:06 PM

Ladies Coupé by Anita Nair


I picked up this book at the Delhi International Airport to give me company during the longggg flight back to Texas. My expectations from the book weren't very high. The subtile of the book read 'the story of a woman's search of strength and independence' and that's exactly what it was. 


It is a story of Akhila, a forty-five years old single working woman, born and brought up in a conservative Tamil brahmin family. After her father's death, she takes his place as head of the family and supports her mother [financially] in bringing up one younger sister and two younger brothers. Having lost her youth to a lifetime of sacrifice, she one day decides to take control of her future and buys a one-way ticket to a town called Kanyakumari. 


The story begins in the Ladies Coupé of the train, which Akhila boards and shares with 5 other women. First is Janaki, an old woman whose marriage has eventually turned into a sweet friendship with her husband over the years. Margaret, a chemistry teacher, who works in the same school as where her husband is the Principle. Margaret's story had the most interesting plot according to me, where she viciously rebukes her self-absorbed husband. Prabha, an ideal coy submissive wife, who is distant and lost throughout the marriage, until one day she learns to swim [rather float]. Sheela is a 14 years old girl who learns from her dying grandmother, lessons that will shape rest of her life. Lastly, Marikolanthu, who shares the experiences of her whole life which have many sad and shocking incidents [rape, social discrimination, and exploitation to name a few].


One question Akhila has been asking throughout her adult life is, "Can a single woman live alone? Or does she always need a man to protect, support and complete her?" She analysis her own life through the experiences of all these women. She realizes that she had let her whole life go by and never stood up for herself. The story is quite close to what one might find in any average Indian family. It doesn't explore anything that one is not already aware of, however, it's Nair's vivid writing that makes you connect with the women and understand their issues up-close!


The ending of the book is definitely controversial and would not go down well with many people [Indian, at least]. Many would believe that she lost her dignity through the actions she took eventually, but in my opinion Akhila had been too 'strong' and 'honorable' for too long and probably felt the need to do something truly rebellious. Also, I believe having heard the other 5 women talk about their short-comings so unapologetically she felt more human knowing that she had also done something that the society didn't approve of and felt liberated, finally!  


What shocked me the most after reading this book and drawing my own conclusions, is that regardless of education and financial independence women are not liberated. Even the most modern and educated women do not have the liberty to make decisions about their life, clothes, travel, or worse about the job they choose to do.  There is like an overhead cost of marriage which is unfortunately being paid, mostly, by women. Well, another book that makes me a little more thankful for everything I have. 


Outfit-of-the-Day




Had a coffee date with a friend. It was a beautiful spring afternoon. I was feeling the colors :o) ... So like I had shared, in my last post, the secret of my mixin'-n-matchin', this is a perfect example of that. I woke up in the morning with the skirt on my mind but I couldn't think of a top to match. Then, just like that, I saw this 'lavender-ish' top stacked right in front of me. If you saw is up-close the the shade of lavender on my skirt is way lighter than the top but if you pair it together it matches perfectly. Besides, I do not like outfits which are a bit too 'matched'.


Top - Gap
Skirt - Roxy
Shoes - Nine West
Shades - Nicked-off my brother [Shhhh!]
Necklace - Gift from Mother-in-law [Same as worn here]

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19 comments

  1. Awesomely created outfit!

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  2. A la Summer Mode, Anita :-)April 5, 2010 at 5:30 AM

    Sounds like an interesting book and definitely tackles a subject that every woman has thought off at one point whilst analyzing their life (those sleepless nights!):-p

    Love the look-it's so HAPPY! :-)

    I lovee summer and its colors! Don't you???

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  3. Just wanted to say that I love the way you give the plot without giving away the story.

    Love the summer look! xxx

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  4. great colours!! You look really lovely
    Holly x

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  5. The necklace is a gift from your mother-in-law? :O
    The mother in laws back home can't think beyond gold and diamond :P
    Would love to have a stylish mum-in-law like that someday :D

    Love what you're wearing.
    Lavender and yellow is my thing, but I'm loving it with orange.
    Will try it and post a few pictures on my Blog.
    Adios!

    purple-peeptoes.blogspot.com

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  6. Tanviiii….
    Finally got IT to unblock your blog (stupid rules here in office; limited access to blogs and other recreational websites…I can’t still see all your pics) *angry*

    Anyways, first things first, just loved your blog on Tanuj…very nicely written. And Tanuj, God, has he grown up! He has surely come a loooong way from the kid I knew in school :) Way to go Tanuj!!

    I simply loved loved (twice to stress) your blue outfit…the tube top and the dark denim vest…very me…would love to wear something like that! You looked lovely!!

    And Tans…I loved even more that cotton dress you wore on your date with Hongmi…just fab! Again, very my kinda outfit :) It was adorable. And you are right, it’s quite liberating to have one’s thoughts out in the open…it’s a relief!

    Fashion 102 was even better! Loved the perfect couple on their date :)too cute! *touchwood*
    For this blog, I can’t see your outfit :( (The IT dept. is going to hear some from me!)

    Anyways, keep it rolling sweets! Love your spirit...!

    Mwaah!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tanviiii….
    Finally got IT to unblock your blog (stupid rules here in office; limited access to blogs and other recreational websites…I can’t still see all your pics) *angry*

    Anyways, first things first, just loved your blog on Tanuj…very nicely written. And Tanuj, God, has he grown up! He has surely come a loooong way from the kid I knew in school :) Way to go Tanuj!!

    I simply loved loved (twice to stress) your blue outfit…the tube top and the dark denim vest…very me…would love to wear something like that! You looked lovely!!

    And Tans…I loved you even more in that cotton dress you wore on your date with Hongmi…just fab! Again, very my kinda outfit :) It was adorable. And you are right, it’s quite a liberating to have one’s thoughts out in the open…it’s a relief!

    Fashion 102 was even better! Loved the perfect couple on their date :) too cute! *touchwood*
    For this blog, I can’t see your outfit :( (The IT dept. is going to hear some from me!)

    Anyways, keep it rolling sweets! Love your spirit...!
    Mwaah!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh read Ladies Coupe ages ago and loved it. I adore your skirt it spells summer :))

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  9. I want that top I want that top! But hell haven't got the body :-(((

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog!! I love ur top/skirt - how pretty is the lavender color...I am also not into too much matchy-matchy:-)

    sonali
    http://bollywoodstylediaries.blogspot.com

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  11. I just want to say a massive thankyou for telling me to get onto bloglovin! I hadn't really heard about it before and didn't know much about it. I've just joined now though but I'll be giving you a mention in my next post for sure!
    Again, thankyou!
    Holly x

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  12. Hi doll, I left you a little award on my blog, please come check it out! xoxo

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  13. Meetu D - Thanks :)

    Ani - I love summers! I love winters. I love every weather ... gives me new ways to dress up ;)

    Minal - Thanks babes!

    www.majormusthaves.com - Thank You! :)

    Holly - Thank You!!! and you are MOST welcome :)

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  14. The Goddess of Boho - My MIL lives in Delhi, she just likes to gift me stuff she knows I love wearing :) and Thanks for the compliments doll!

    Anuuubhaaa - Babes I missed you. I will pass on your comments to Tanuj and a million thank you's for all the compliments. I love you more now ;)

    Hippie Holly - Thanks for visiting :)

    Manjari Singh - Haha! Well there is something for everyone, trust me :)

    Sonali - Thanks for visiting mine too :)

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  15. Taj Acosta - THANKSSS!!! Babes, I am honored! WOW! This is AMAZING :o)

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  16. Such a lovely sunny outfit! And the book sounds interesting too.

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  17. Must be an enjoyable read Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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  18. had not see this post previously and was very surprised at the length of the hair then I saw the date
    I did not like the book much had read it a long time back

    ReplyDelete

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