Cracking the Code – Book Review

Cracking the code - Book review

Cracking the code: My journey in Bollywood, by Ayushmann Khurrana and Tahira Kashyap

Genre: Autobiography

Publication: 8 February 2015

Length: 153 Pages

Format: Kindle Edition


Cracking the code: My journey in Bollywood, is an autobiography of the one actor who has made a name for himself selecting roles that are completely different from the run-of-the-mill roles actors usually settle for. I think ‘experimental’ could very well be his middle name!

Ayushmann Khurrana, in his book published way back in 2015, recounts his journey from his childhood, to his days as a Radio Jockey, a Video Jockey, a singer, and an actor in the Hindi Film Industry.

It’s really a book that he has written for aspiring actors who leave behind their simple world, and travel to Mumbai–the city of dreams–to try their luck in the big, bad world of Bollywood.

Some of them taste success and have a longer shelf-life; some others vanish after a very short innings, and still others fail to make a mark or get noticed and return home, broken hearted, disillusioned.

It’s a book where he shares his codes for success–tips and life lessons that at once encourage you, fill you with hope, boost your morale, and act as a beacon for those setting out on a journey that’s riddled with uncertainty.



A book for aspiring actors is what he calls it – a book for those who have huge dreams of the glitz and the glamour of Bollywood.

A book for those who think they have it all to make their mark in the film industry, but, who, sadly, fail to make it despite their best efforts.

It’s a short book–153 pages–and one can finish if off in an hour or two. But, in these 153 pages, Ayushmann has packed enough gyaan that could be useful for whatever journey one might be on.

Not necessarily film industry, but any industry, any vocation you may have chosen, this book helps you know how to tread the path to success.


Give your best to whatever opportunities you get; never underestimate the significance of even the smallest of junctures. Your past actions will one day become your future redemption.


Ayushmann has shared lessons he learned through his experiences as he grew up from an “ugly”, stick-thin boy without the saleability factor into a commendable actor, who can carry an unusual story on his able shoulders with his craft, his screen presence, and the relatability factor.

The book has a conversational tone, with stories that resonate with you, and the struggles you face building up your career.

There are codes after every chapter to ponder shared by someone who hasn’t received his stardom on a platter, but who had to toil to achieve it.



The language he has used, the style, the tone, all of it makes you feel as if you are sitting with the guy in a coffee shop on a rainy afternoon, listening to him narrate his story about how he made it to Bollywood–his childhood dream.

How he went through all the ups and downs, the trials and the tribulations, the lack of confidence due to his not being “presentable”, but with enough confidence in himself, his capabilities, and his ability to give every job, big or small, his one hundred percent.

Not once does he come across as preachy, boastful, or Mr Know-all-ish.

His ability to laugh at himself, speak about his shortcomings, and share some very embarrassing moments with the reader, candidly, makes him endearing, and relatable.

You need not be a Bollywood aspirant to know how tough life is.

Whatever career you choose to follow, you have to face hardships, learn lessons, and find your way through the labyrinth of twists and turns.

It helps if there are words to guide you shared by someone who has been through an equally difficult phase but emerged from it a winner.

It gives you confidence and the will power to continue on the path you have chosen, and give every shot your best.




Frankly, there wasn’t anything I did not like.

In the past couple of months, I caught up on quite a few Ayushmann-starrers and was impressed by the ease with which he slips into the roles he picks.

This book, therefore, had to be read to get to know the person I see on the silver screen!


I loved the book. Period.

An easy read, you can spend an afternoon going through this book and glean a lot about how to deal with failure, with success, and with else everything in between.

It is an insightful read for youngsters who are on the verge of setting out on a career path. Movies, or no movies, this book will inspire you enough to do your best whatever the situation, the circumstances.

I give this book 4.5 stars. (It could have done with a little bit of proofreading and editing.)

So, if you haven’t read this book, then do pick it up at Kindle Unlimited–it’s free!


Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

15 thoughts on “Cracking the Code – Book Review

  1. I’m not much of a Bollywood movie watcher, but I have seen Ayushmann in a few films and was impressed. Also he comes across as a down to earth kind of guy and I’m aware that his wife had cancer rather recently. Thanks for your review. Had no clue he had a book out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is different. It’s not like a typical autobiography. You could say it was more of a guide to those who wish to join the industry, shared along with snippets from his life.


  2. What a lovely review- totally echoes the book Shilpa. I had read this one on my vacation and was pleasantly surprised by it too! Its such an unassuming account of becoming a star and he has not only opened his heart but bared it unflinchingly for all to judge and comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t heard of any book by Ayushman before but it certainly seems like a must-read! But he’s had such a great career trajectory in the last 5 years that I think a book written more recently would have been even more wholesome ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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