Ayushmann Khurrana's book is a cheat sheet for anyone with a dream - Hindustan Times
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Ayushmann Khurrana's book is a cheat sheet for anyone with a dream

Hindustan Times | ByNihit Bhave
Feb 01, 2015 07:24 PM IST

In his book, Cracking The Code, actor Ayushmann Khurrana traces his journey from small-town nobody to big-city star, and recalls how he’s always taken the unlikely route to making it.

The year was 1988. Tezaab had just released. And people were waking up to a new star: Madhuri Dixit. A sweet girl from a middle-class family of nobodies, who had never dreamed that she would make it in Bollywood. But here she was, dancing away to Ek Do Teen, and unknowingly inspiring millions across India.



One of them was a four-year-old boy called Ayushmann Khurrana, from another family of nobodies in Chandigarh. For Ayushmann, Tezaab played out in a dingy single-screen theatre where he sat between viewers who whistled, cheered and threw coins at the screen.



"I almost dropped the thought of going to audition"



MTV Roadies was the show that brought Ayushmann his initial fame. In his book, he remembers how he became part of the reality show:



http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/1/0102brpg9b.jpgI had auditioned for a television serial by Balaji Telefilms called Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi, the first fiction show on MTV, which didn’t do so well. However, I was noticed in that audition but, to my surprise, by the Roadies team in Mumbai.



I remember when I got a call from Mumbai I was attending a lecture and had to bury my head under the desk and take the call. I was super excited when I recognised a Mumbai number.



‘Hi, I’m Raghu,’ said the voice on the other end. At that time, Raghu wasn’t ‘The Raghu’. And I had the audacity to ask, ‘Who Raghu?’



Not many had seen him on television yet. He asked me to audition for Roadies but I wasn’t interested. That kind of show didn’t suit my aspirations. After all, I wanted to be an actor. Raghu told me to think about it and get back to him.



When I told my father he said, ‘Zaroor jao’ (You should definitely go). I still don’t know what my father foresaw, but he pushed me into it. At that time, I was rehearsing for my theatre group Manch Tantra’s production called Painter Babu, in which I was playing the lead.



I told my group about my audition. They dissuaded me to such an extent that I almost dropped the thought of going to the audition. But I knew I had to go and, in retrospect, I’m glad I did.

“I just wasn’t in control of my life”
Ayushmann says that stardom has been strenuous, too. In his book, he mentions how his new-found fame distanced him from his wife:

Suddenly, I became everyone’s property; I wasn’t hers alone. From the shy boy-next-door Ayushmann Khurrana, I had transformed into ‘Oye Vicky!’ or ‘Ae sperm donor!’.

Since neither my wife nor I had been exposed to such a drastic change in our lives, she didn’t know what was happening and neither did I. We were totally clueless about how to react or respond to my sudden fame

I just went along with the flow instead of trying to control it, leaving Tahira behind. It was not a conscious decision to revel in the newfound glory. To be honest, I didn’t even enjoy as much, because I knew I didn’t have my wife along to share it with. I was as lost as a teenager buying his first packet of condoms at the chemist’s.

In fact, I didn’t even realize when, at the first public event we attended together, I accidentally let go of her hand as I was accosted by the press. After about twenty minutes of jostling into the flashing strobes did I realise that I was not holding the hand of the person I had come with.

When I turned around frantically to look for her, I saw her standing just where I had left her, with tears welling up in her eyes. I felt so miserable. I just wasn’t in control of my life.

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