There’s something about a train journey and the close proximity of strangers sharing the journey that stirs in us the urge to bare our souls. Maybe the assumption that we will never meet those people again encourages us to discard the layers inhibition. Using this, Anita Nair writes about the protagonist Akhilandeshwari who boards a Ladies Coupe and comes in contact with five women from various backgrounds and of different ages. In their stories, Akhila seeks to find answers to the questions tormenting her about morality, femininity, what it means to be a woman and whether a woman needs a man to make her feel complete.
The book is well written and I finished reading it in two long sessions. The author has taken care in changing the style of the narration for each woman and so one actually feels like one is on a long journey listening to the women talk about their lives fearing no judgement. The characters aren’t as complex as real woman are which is probably the only drawback. The ending is open to interpretation and is somewhat dramatic and stereotypical. The reference to Indian mythology – especially the names of the goddesses could have been more discreet.
I enjoyed reading Anita Nair’s Ladies Coupe though the themes presented weren’t revolutionary or mind-blowing.