Cracking the Code by Ayushmann Khurana, Tahira Kashyap
Every once in a while you come across a book that surprises you. Book by Ayushmann Khurana Cracking the Code – My Journey to Bollywood is one such. When I received this book for review I was not even sure if I would read it. Between some heavy reading, I picked up Cracking the Code expecting nothing but some light entertainment. What else do you expect from a personality in the entertainment business; Well, it is a light reading, but very well written. I was quite impressed by the writing and the subtle maturity of the author. Ok, I must admit I do have a natural bias for people from Chandigarh. Especially the ones who are doing so well outside that small little heaven.
This small book is a part memoir and part reflection on a journey that is obviously more than ordinary. Ayushmann Khurana talks about his childhood in Chandigarh. His less than ordinary looks that he worked hard to change and his supporting family and girlfriend. He talks about his dream to be an actor, which was not easy to come, as he had no contacts in the industry and the route he took to reach his dream.
Now what he tells you is nothing unique. But since he substantiates everything he mentions as a ‘Code’ for success or life in general, it lends a lot of credibility to those codes. He tells the story in a way that youngsters would be inspired but inspired with a sense of responsibility. What I liked about his story is the prudence that he chose while aiming for his aspirations.
At every step, he chose to work while trying to find a foothold as an actor. Rather than, join the gang of wannabe aspiring actors, who are dime a dozen in every nook and corner of Mumbai. He also made sure that he was good at whatever he did. He explains how he would work hard on his weak points to be the best while being very comfortable in his own skin. Even if there are episodes that he chose not to mention or embellish a few, you get the practical approach of a young man towards stardom.
In the end, he also talks about the perils of being a public personality. And the toll it can take on your personal life. To me his story is all about preparing yourself well, networking well and at the same time be comfortable in your own skin. Language and writing style of the book is much better than what I expected. Somehow his sincerity comes across when he talks about things like pre-scripted reality shows.
My only big issue with this book is that Ayushmann Khurana has co-authored this book with his wife Tahira Kashyap, but you cannot hear her voice anywhere. The narrative is the first person account of Ayushmann Khurana. Not even once through the book, he clarifies how she has contributed to the book. Is it her, who has ghost written the book? If yes, then that needs acknowledgment. If not, then her name as a co-author needs an explanation?
Dreaming of a career in the entertainment business? Read it…