By JULIANA JUNE RASUL
WHEN The New Paper spotted him last Saturday, he looked dazed and out of sorts.
Flash forward to Monday night,and Mr Monohor Ali was very much alert and beaming.
He was collecting his $10,000 cheque for having lasted 82 hours and 37 minutes without sleep for the 100 Hours Chill On Movie Indulgence movie marathon organised by Nescafe, and held at Plaza Singapura over the weekend. v An admirable feat, but Mr Monohor said sleep deprivation is nothing new to him.
In fact, he is somewhat of an expert in such contests, having participated in no fewer than three Subaru Challenges, where contestants strive to outlast each other in a bid to win a Subaru car.
The longest he claimed he lasted during that competition was 53 hours.
He also entered the Olympic Torchbearer Challenge in 2005, where he stood for hours holding up a paper torch.
Now, the 37-year-old freelance videographer has broken the record for the 'longest movie watching' in the Singapore Book of Records, watching over 40 movies in the 31/2 days he was awake and beating 99 other participants.
His closest competitor, Mr Zulkifli Amin, gave up in the early hours of Monday morning.
An hour later, Mr Monohor fell asleep while watching action adventure flick Nim's Island.
He was shaken awake by the marshal on duty, and told that he had won the top prize of $10,000.
'I just went 'Oh, okay. Thank you',' he said. 'By that time I didn't know where I was.'
Going more than three days without sleep had taken its toll on Mr Monohor, who suffered backaches and started to hallucinate.
'I'd be watching a movie, and then I would find myself hallucinating that I was actually in the movie itself,' he said.
Asked why he's so interested in such endurance competitions,Mr Monohor said he finds them 'easy'.
'I usually work long hours and stay up late, so not sleeping is quite okay for me,' he said.
But he admitted that he underestimated how hard staying awake for more than three days would be.
After the first sleepless night, he developed a headache and had sneezing fits.
On the second day, he got anxiety attacks about whether he would be able to complete the challenge.
But he had prepared for the competition by reading up on breathing and relaxation exercises for calming techniques.
'I think I entered somewhat of a 'yogic' state,' he said, and joked that he was also helped along by about 'a gallon of coffee'.
But by early Monday morning, when it was down to him and Mr Zulkifli, he said he felt like he was 'floating'.
Meanwhile, local celebrities had participated in a corresponding 24-hour movie marathon for charity.
Fly Entertainment artistes Allan Wu and Alaric Tay both made it to the end and were reportedly alert and ready to outlast each other for however long it took for the other man to quit.
Eventually, a tie was called and the $10,000 prize was split between their charities of choice.
Mr Monohor plans to use his winnings to tide him over while he finishes a film script. He also won a trip for two to Hollywood, which he says he will share with one of his brothers.
For now, he'll concentrate on getting some rest.
He said: 'Sleep is wonderful.'
This article was first published in The New Paper.