A great piece of information in the Times of India edition of yesterday, 28th March, totally went unnoticed. I am reproducing (!!!) the item below. It talks about a female hybrid fish that grows male reproductive organs, impregnating itself and then giving birth to offspring.

News item about ‘Selfing’ in The Times of India, 28 Mar 16

Navy wives (and probably their counterparts in the Army and the Air Force too) would be much excited to read the news. This is where the evolutionary process has reached so far in their alliance with their Navy husbands:

  1. They meet their would be husbands in a party. He is handsome-looking and very gentlemanly and witty and therefore love blooms.
  2. They start seeing each other in the evenings and whenever the occasions occur.
  3. They proclaim that they cannot live without each other and exchange wedding vows.
  4. They move into a one room house and it is fun and frolic for a few days. Just as she had imagined, he is great in bed too. She starts dreaming of having a child. Gods are kind and she has a baby even more handsome than her husband. But then, she notices that he starts cavorting with his first Love: the Navy; and she and the child are on their own.
  5. She does everything to bring up the child (he, immersed in his never-ending nautical work, is often not even aware of how old his child or children are, what do they look like and what makes them happy) and is rewarded by his presence once in a blue moon.

Take my course mate LK, for example. N did everything for him; no, not the ‘selfing’, but practically everything else. From moving into a new house to asking MES personnel to repair this and that, arranging servants, parties, electricity, shopping, their daughter’s schooling to finally doing all the packing to move to a new station, N would do everything. LK would be too busy attending to the office work even at home.

Take my case. I had gone for a six month’s deputation to Spain, leaving Lyn in a hostile city called New Delhi and that too in a one room outhouse in Kotah House. We were to get an A-type accommodation (three things that were ultimate fantasies of Navy officers are: 1. A-type accommodation (lucky are those who get it before being transferred out of station). 2. A telephone with zero dialing facility (which means not just within the Navy but being able to contact the outside world too). 3. Transport. Nowadays, telephones is not such a big thing because of the ready availability of smart phones. However, accommodation and transport still continue being luxuries and hence fantasies). And, this allotment of A-type accommodation was to take place before being evicted out of the mess called Kotah House.

The before part didn’t take place when I was away abroad. Lyn and our two kids (Arjun 4 years and Arun 1 year old) were going to be on the road when she thought enough is enough and marched into CAO’s (Central Administrative Officer; the rank of a Major General) office. He admitted the fact, after consulting his officers, that yes I was on top of the roster for the last month or so but there was no suitable house available. He thought this would help him buy sometime and then he would think of what to do. But, evolutionary process, had taught Lyn many things even at that young age. She asked him if he could rent a tent to her and tell her where she could put it up since she was on the road with the two kids. By evening she moved into a house.

How did she learn all this? In my article ‘Indian Navy Is the Only Life That I have Known And Seen’, written about a year back, I had given glimpses of the automatic process through which Navy wives learn. I had also mentioned in ‘Lyn And I – Scene By Scene’, on the occasion of our wedding anniversary last year, that our first child was born when we were in mourning for my dad’s untimely death in a jeep accident and when the second child was born, she walked to the hospital on her own since my ship INS Ganga had sailed to Andaman and Nicobar islands with Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi and she (Lyn) was all by herself.

In the farewell speech of Admiral Nirmal Verma as the Chief of the Naval Staff, in Western Naval Command Officers’ Mess at Mumbai, he extolled the virtues of a happy married life. He said that he had learnt (this wisdom comes to us too late; at retirement time, most often than not) that we should spend much more time with our families than what we are spending now. Until we do, I guess, the ultimate fantasy of a Navy wife would be to assimilate the virtues of cichlid fish and do selfing so that her husband won’t have to do a thing towards raising their children!

And now, it is time for me to address my brethren in the Navy and by extension, in the IAF and the great Indian Army too:


Lets wake up. So far you have made your wives do everything at home whilst you earn your Vashisht Seva Medals, Ati Vashisht Seva Medals, and gallantry medals for service beyond the call of duty (whatever that means) at sea and in the offices ashore. She takes your children to the school, giving your name as the father and her name as the mother. She does the same with the ration card and any other card.

But, brothers; beware. The time is approaching when she would stop waiting for you, acts like the cichlid fish and then when she goes anywhere she would give her own name as both the father and the mother!

I agree with you that sailing merrily in your ships or flying your aircraft or being in your regiment/battalion is frightfully important and that the national security rests on your tiny shoulders. However, brothers, I saw Jim Carey’s ‘Liar, Liar’ the other day and in hindsight, I can tell you that there are a thousand ways to lie but only one way to the truth:

Act before it is too late.

Imagine how your children are going to feel the rest of their lives when they can smell that there is something fishy about how they were born!

Your brother-in-arms,
Sonbyanyname (sorry Sunbyanyname)

P.S. Some of you have only now started learning how to take a ‘Selfie’. Selfing is a – if I may say so – a different kettle of fish altogether.


This is SELFIE
This is SELFIE
And, this is SELFING
And, this is SELFING

P.P.S. I had aired another well-meaning fantasy in ‘The Year 2222 And The Naval Wars’. Don’t let it come true!

© 2016, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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  1. A very interesting article. But I think every couple has to evolve on their own. Nobody can say that their marriage is perfect and therefore an idealistic state to be emulated. Every couple find their own state of happiness and/or unhappiness.

    1. Thank you Suresh. I hasten to add that the point of the humorous piece is not so much about happy or unhappy couples but about the penchant of the armed forces personnel to leave everything to their spouses. It is like a fauji husband telling his wife on their wedding day, “I shall take all the major decisions such as ‘Should India become a nuclear power?’ and ‘How many aircraft carriers should the Navy have?’ You take all minor decisions at home such as ‘Schooling and upbringing of children’, ‘Running the household’, ‘Planning menus’, and ‘Payment of all the bills’.