The Meeting With Mr. Durden – Fight Club’s Version Of Getting Into A B-School

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. And this story is about one such night. It was 2 AM that night, I had been running for past three hours and still, the sleep eluded me. I had been suffering from insomnia from past three weeks. Last week, I thought I had found a cure for it when I managed a few hours sleep after running for a couple of hours. But that night even running was of no use.

When you have insomnia, you’re never really awake and you’re never really asleep. Nothing’s real. Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy. I stopped running after some time and started walking back to my apartment. The street dog that I used to cross every night during my run back home suddenly seemed to have found a brotherhood and a common enemy in me. To avoid them and their haunting eyes, I took a perfidious route. It was very dark and hard to figure out where one was stepping. After walking a couple of steps, I stumbled and fell on the road. As I was trying to pick myself up, someone hit me from behind and a darkness spread over my eyes.

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything. As I opened my eyes, I saw a shadow in front of me. My wallet was missing. He was asking me a question. I don’t remember much of what he asked me that night. But I remember my answers to his each and every question. I have tried to reconstruct whatever I remember of that meeting below:


Shadow: ………What did you study?

Me: Engineering Stuff.

Shadow: Stuff? Were the mid-terms hard? I asked you what you studied!

Me: Computer Science.

Shadow: Why?

Me: I don’t know.

Shadow: What did you wanna do?

Me: Solve problems and stuff.

Shadow: And stuff, yeah I got that. That means you have to get more schooling.

Me: Too much school.

Shadow: Would you rather be dead? Would you rather die? Here, on your knees in the back of a convenience store?

Me: No, please no!

Shadow: I’m keeping your license. I’m gonna check in on you. I know where you live. If you’re not on your way to becoming what you want to be in six weeks, you will be dead. Now run on home.

I got up and ran as fast as I could towards my apartment. I could still hear him in my head talking to me and saying that tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of my life. That my breakfast will taste better than any meal anyone has ever tasted. After that, I don’t remember much of it. Next day, I woke up wearing shoes with headphones in my ear and Fight Club running on my laptop.

It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything. Even two years after that, when I’m writing this article from my room in IIM Trichy campus, I am not sure whether everything that transpired that night was a dream or not. But I can surely say that the next day after that night was really the most beautiful day of my life and the breakfast the most satisfying ever. And till this day, I remember those words and strive towards my true purpose.

Mayank Lal

Looking for stories inside, outside and everywhere. Hope to live a life learning histories, seeking mysteries and uncovering future human trajectories. Avid bibliophile, cinephile and TV series binger. Currently studying in the first year of the Post Graduate Programme in IIM Trichy.