His wife used to keep everything in order because his whole room was in constant chaos: thousands of papers, research papers, and whenever he would like a single thing it will take days to find it out, where it is. He will go on forgetting everything. He may have discovered something and he may start discovering again. And his wife will remind that, “You have done it! It is already in the market!”
He used to keep loose papers and will go on writing whatsoever thought will come to his mind. Then those loose papers will be lost here and there. His wife told him, “You better keep a notebook.”
He said, “That’s beautiful idea! Why it never happened to me?” But then he lost his whole book! He said, “Look, your suggestion I followed. With loose papers one thing was good: once in a while I used to lose few papers, but not all; now all papers are lost!”
Albert Einstein was not a man of memory. He failed in his matriculation simply because he could not memorize anything. This greatest mathematician of all the ages, and for ages to come, was incapable of counting small amounts of money; he will have to count again and again.
Once he was traveling in a bus. He gave the conductor some money; the remaining money was returned to him. He counted it once, twice, thrice, and each time the result was different, so he started counting the fourth time.
The conductor was looking and he said, “What is the matter with you? Don’t you know figures? Thrice you have counted, now you are counting fourth time! Don’t you know figures?”
He said, “Yes, I am a little lousy about figures!”
This man who has worked out greatest figures possible was incapable of counting small amounts of money. He will go into his bathroom and will not come out for hours because he will forget that he has to come out.
One of my friends, Doctor Ram Manohar Lohia, went to see him. He was telling me that, “I had to wait six hours because he was in the bathroom! And his wife started apologizing again and again and she said, ‘He is in the bathroom, he is in the bathroom.’ I said, ‘But what he is doing in the bathroom?’ The wife said, ‘Nobody knows but if you disturb him he becomes very angry – he starts throwing things! But he always forgets; whenever he goes in he forgets to come out. Now we have to wait, whenever he comes out… When he will feel hungry or thirsty or something, then he will remember.’”
Doctor Lohia asked, “But what he goes on doing there?”
The wife said, “Yes, I have also been curious my whole life what he goes on doing. So in the beginning I used to peep through the keyhole – what he is doing? He sits in his bathtub and goes on playing with soap bubbles! And when I asked him, ‘What are you doing?’ he said, ‘Don’t disturb me, never disturb me, because it is playing with soap bubbles that I have discovered the Theory of Relativity, and the theory that the universe is expanding just like a soap bubble: it goes on expanding and one day it will burst – just like a soap bubble!’”