“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it is two hours. That’s relativity,” spoke Naseeruddin Shah in a heavy German accent on the stage at Siri Fort Auditorium recently, while performing his eponymous play titled Einstein. Written by Gabriel Emmanuel and performed by the veteran actor, the 75-minute-long solo act presented the German physicist as more than just one of the greatest scientists credited with the Theory of Relativity and the famous equation, E=mc2. The play brought to the fore several interesting aspects of Albert Einstein’s personality that made him human and relatable. For instance, how the absent-minded scientist discovered on his wedding night that he had lost his apartment keys, didn’t like wearing socks as they would always ended up getting a hole, and loved playing the violin, particularly Mozart’s music. The play presented him as one among us – plagued by the fear of failure, by his own disappointments and self-doubt.
‘It felt as if Einstein himself was talking with the audience’
Audience members Sanjeeda and Surbhi said only Naseeruddin could have done justice to a challenging role like this. “The bushy, fizzy hair of Einstein, and his body language and mannerisms were brought alive on stage remarkably by him. Throughout the play, we were so engrossed that we felt that it was Einstein himself who was talking to the audience, and not Naseeruddin, the actor. Only an actor like him could have gone under the Nobel Laureate’s skin this well. He took up the character so well. There was not even a single dull moment,” they said, adding, “The play presented an interesting aspect of his life – Einstein was an atheist but was misconstrued throughout his life. Nobody understood his point that science is for all, and not meant for any particular religion.”