Remember Firaaq Gorakhpuri? He hated his wife so much that he refused to see her face even when they lived under the same roof. But that was an extreme.When Premchand married a widow, I wonder whether his first wife was around.Though Ghalib married his childhood sweetheart but wikipedia says, 'There are conflicting reports regarding his relationship with his wife'. Our very own Gulzar separated from beautiful Rakhi
In the west most of the famous writers had multiple marriages.Hemingway married thrice, Henry Miller-five times, just to name a few. But it is common in their culture.They might have been like this even if they were not writers.
Generally people who are very popular and admired by many, considered witty with a great sense of humour are not equally amiable at home or with the people closely related to them.
What can be the reason? One what I think is that they don't want to be interrupted. Unlike any other profession they cannot resume their work after making small talk and start where they had left.They have to be selfish it seems.While writing, one moment of distraction and there slips an apt word and an idea which he might never catch again.
At the dentist's waiting room I was reading Mahesh Dattani's column and he was complaining how people who know that he works from home, drop in. In spite of telling them that he is not expecting anyone at that time.
So what happens if a family member needs the writer's attention? They can't be formal at home. And what if his wife wants to know if she should keep her hair short or long or has she put on weight.What for dinner? Writers don't even have fixed working hours.
The other reason can be that the wife doesn't resemble the character he is creating in his notebook who is obedient and knows him so well and speaks only when he wants.
I know a writer who lives in a mansion with his two dogs, a bar full of alcohol and a few devoted servants.Though separated, the wife is in touch and still cares for him.So one more thing which I observed is common that though separated these wives are not sure what exactly they hated in their husbands and still respect them.I fail to understand how can wives even stand them who made their lives hell.I was brooding all this when I saw Rakhee touching Gulzaar's (One of my most fav writers)feet on the stage in an award function.
I know we cannot generalise as on the other hand there are writers like Jug Suraiya who cannot write an article without the mention of his wife.