For celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, the 1992 Mumbai riots will always be the “defining moment” in his life. Khanna was saved by a Muslim family when he was caught in the riots. Since then he has been keeping a one-day fast during Ramzan for the past 26 years to ensure the family’s well-being.
After over two decades, Khanna said that he was finally able to find them and tweeted on Monday about how excited he was to break his Ramadan fast with the same family who saved his life all those years ago. In another tweet on Tuesday, probably after having a meal with the family, Khanna wrote, “Heartwarming evening. All Heart. Tears. Pain. Pride. Courage. Humanity. Gratitude. This will be the most significant and important EID of my life. Thank you everyone to connect me with my souls.”
All Heart. Tears. Pain. Pride. Courage. Humanity. Gratitude. This will be the most significant and important EID of my life. Thank you everyone to connect me with my souls. pic.twitter.com/apdposBSDe
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) June 12, 2018
Khanna had narrated the story of how he was saved by the Muslim family during an interview with Anupam Kher. The Indian-American chef, who was a part of the room service crew at the Sea Rock Sheraton Hotel in Mumbai, had ventured out in the middle of the riots after receiving news that buildings were on fire in Ghatkopar. In the interview, he claimed that he was too young to realise that he shouldn’t have gone out and was concerned about his brother’s family who lived in Ghatkopar.
However, with curfews everywhere and trains schedules going haywire, Khanna got lost on the streets after walking for more than two hours while angry mobs ran amok.
This is one of the happiest day of my life. @AnupamPKher ji had interviewed me last year for @republic & I shared the story of Muslim family that saved my life during riots.
WE FOUND THEM & today I shall break the fast with them
vikas khanna Anupam Kher https://t.co/wldNhL5it2
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) June 11, 2018
At this point, a Muslim family came out of their house, enquired where he was going and asked him to come inside their home to take shelter. When rioters reached the family’s home, the latter told them that Khanna was their own son and a Muslim. The New York-based chef spent two days under the family’s protection.
Later, the family also sent someone to make sure the chef’s brother was okay. Khanna told Kher that he doesn’t remember who those people were or where they lived, but he has been observing “one-day roza” every ramzan for the family.
Khanna had also spoken about the family in a Facebook post in 2015.
The Michelin star chef claimed that it was one of the most significant moments in his life and one that has made him realise the ‘sacredness’ that exists in India.