“Once you stop worrying what the world will think of you, your life will become that much easier to live.”
― Anita Nair, Ladies Coupe
These lines are from the 2001 novel by Anita Nair titled “Ladies Coupe”. It’s a book that highlights the life of six women- women who lay down what exactly feminism is, the impact of patriarchy and, take steps to understand their own identity. We live in a society which believes that a woman always requires a man to depend on. But is this actually the truth? Does a woman need a man to complete her? Does happiness elude a single woman?
The six women who stood out in the book
The main character Akhila, the middle aged Income Tax clerk, undertakes a train journey, on a quest to understand her own true self. Having taken over the reins of the family income at a young age and being the dutiful daughter, sister and provider, her own life seems to have lost out on a lot. Relationship and marriage are just a mirage to her. Until one day she resolves to break free and find answers to the million questions that bombard her on a daily basis.
Booked on the ladies coupe of the train, she hears out the story of five other women. Whether it is Janaki, the pampered and confused wife; Margaret Shanti, the lady who handles mental abuse in a unique way; Prabhadevi, the perfect wife who takes that first step towards transforming her life on her own; fourteen-year-old Sheela with her ability to perceive what others cannot or; Marikolanthu, a victim of rape and of society’s crude attitude, each have their own story. Their stories inspire Akhila in many a ways, and give her answers to all those questions that bog her mind, until she takes that step towards her freedom.
Message for every women- Have courage and it is ok to question patriarchy
Anita Nair’s Ladies Coupe comprises of not one, but six powerful women characters. These women are intelligent, sensitive and question patriarchy that they experience in their lives. They dislike being mere pawns, and being dominated by the outdated rules of an outdated society. To each their own story, yet it speaks volumes on not accepting what is thrust upon them in the name of rules and tradition.
The book brings in a positive impact through its characters, urging women to take that step, to break the shackles of patriarchy and to heed to one’s inner calling.
This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I write about twenty six women characters from books, who have left an impact on me.