Ananta Madhavan

Secret Serenade

'Match for Gupta maiden,28, slightly healthy, fair, graduate teacher, caste no bar. Box - -. ' Personal ad. in an Indian national daily in May 1976
- - - -

O Gupta maiden, Gupta maiden,
8 and 20 springs are gone;
Gupta maiden, still a maiden,
29 is springing on.

Thou art taller than a larkspur,
Thy height I ken is 1-5-3
In centimeter measure, that is,
Which ducks the five foot mark, I see.

Oh 'slightly healthy' Gupta maiden,
Thee I'm ready to adore;
I like that 600 per mensem,
Though I could use a trifle more.

What 'healthy' means in Indian English,
We must own is different.
That thou art a little portly
Is what they candid notice meant.

Here I come, Box 19-something,
Curious to ascertain
What thy unsaid statistics uncover;
Never mind if thou art plain.

Prithee, pale brown Gupta maiden,
Bar me not as wholly bad.
Thy caste-less net is is cast so widely,
But I am just a Gupta lad.

Submitted: Monday, May 12, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Topic(s): marriage

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

There are many stories about such personal ads in dailies.

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