Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Mind of a Writer

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.


Desi Babu said...

Beautifully written!

Now, I have to show this article to my wife...


vandy said...

Kabhi hum unko kabhi,apne blog ko dekhte hain....:-)

Thanks and regards.

Ekta said...

Gulzar-Rakhi not together anymore? Well this is news for me.

vandy said...

They had separated when Raakhi started working in films after their marriage.

alternative investments said...

Interesting - I shall show this article to my wife for sure:) said...

If I am not wrong then Hemingway had married four times. I wonder why Kishore Kumar had to marry four times.

Anonymous said...


Writers, Artist etc. have their own world of imagination to live with....

That's why maybe.

Nice post.

vandy said...

@Rohit. Okk a correction there :-)
abt Kishore Kumar,for Indian standards 4 is a huge number.

@June,Thanks for taarif..:-)

Manish said...

Idiosyncrasies are all part of growing up. They can be minor, harmless things or something very serious. Some of these so called geniuses have pampered upbringing while others are simply imitating their parents. All these things count.

Historically, the biggest parenting flaw indentified has been the inability to inculcate social behaviour in their kids. What we see in the grown-ups is the full blown diseases. The seeds have been sown long back.

Lakshmish Hegde said...

very true. A writer is very comfortable with the characters of his book.

vandy said...

Hi Manish
What I wanted to say is they are not bad people but their work makes them behave, the way they do..and some traits are common in most of the writers. We can't generalise though.

BTW long time :)

Hi lakshmish.yeah...:)