The Satisfied Insomniac

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It was the 18th of March, a defining day of my life for I had the IIM B interview the next day. What amplified the gravity of the situation was the fact that it was my only IIM call apart from the new IIMs. Life was tough leading up to the D-Day; countless mock interviews and hours spent reading Economic Times. Finally all that effort being assessed in a span of 30 minutes seemed scary predicated with a lot of “what ifs”. What if I gave a wrong answer in the interview? What if I don’t write the Essay well? As all these tormenting thoughts went through my head, I endeavored to put myself to sleep. But there were other things in store for me!

I have been an occasional insomniac. Some nights I would just lay awake, not thinking of anything, my mind totally blank. And what a day insomnia chose to strike again! Oddly enough it wasn’t the stress that was keeping me awake, rather I was quite calm. Still, sleep was eluding me like a deer eludes a predator. Changing sides of the bed, regulating fan speed; none of these helped. Finally around 6 am when the first lights of day were beaming, sleep came to me. Next morning I woke up looking like a zombie; all I wanted was sleep and the interview was in a couple of hours!

Pretty shaken up, I reached New Kenilworth Hotel, Kolkata, which was the venue for the WAT/PI process. I was greeted by a swarm of tourists and hotel staff; all busy and running around. The sunlight seemed exceptionally harsh to my unaccustomed eyes. It took us around half an hour to be escorted to the room where the process would happen. After finishing the WAT, everyone started preparing; some on laptops, others on smart phones. People were blurting out things I had not even heard of before! As this sea of confusion roared, I lay my head on the table and closed my eyes. I was telling myself: “Today is about keeping calm”.

After an hour of rapid heartbeats and trepidation, finally the call came: “Arko Adhya”. I knew it was now or never!
Without going into details of the interview, I would draw attention to a single question that was asked to me: “What is your aim in life?” Had it been any other day, I would have come up with a good-to-hear politically correct answer. But I was too tired to conjure up such an elaborate answer. I simply stated “My aim in life is to be happy”. And then began a philosophical plane of questioning. Each of the questions was a pleasure to answer. That one reply had turned the interview in my favor, or so I would like to believe!

It is a common belief that insomnia is detrimental. In physical terms it is. But sometimes what it brings out is your true uninhibited self. The tiredness brought out a part of me which was more pure in a certain sense. Now as I enter the hallowed portals of IIM B, I brace myself for four hour nights. I can only imagine what 2 years of sleepless nights will bring out about in me!

Arko Adhya
PGP 2014-16