Monday, 19 November 2018

Memorable Ramzan: Chef Vikas Khanna reunites with Muslim Family That Saved Him in Mumbai Riots

Ramzan is a special time of the year for Muslims around the world. For Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna, it is extra special.

Every year since 1992, Chef Vikas Khanna has fasted for a day during the holy month of Ramadan to honour a Muslim family he credits with saving his life during the 1992 riots in Mumbai. And he had been trying to find them ever since.

#RamadanMubarak to all. May this Holy month be filled with blessings of peace, prosperity and love. I was training in…

Posted by Chef Vikas Khanna on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On Monday, he tweeted he was happy to have tracked down the family and would break his Ramadan fast with them. Last night, presumably after meeting and sharing an Iftar meal with the Mumbai family, Chef Khanna tweeted: “Heartwarming evening. All Heart. Tears. Pain. Pride. Courage. Humanity. Gratitude.”

In a interview with actor Anupam Kher for Republic TV in 2017, Khanna detailed the events that took place during the riots, and his tryst with the family. He revealed that since 1992, he has been fasting for one day during the month of Ramzan in honour of the family.

Khanna was completing his shift in the Sea Rock Sheraton hotel in Mumbai when found out about the news of rioters taking over the city. Following this, the staff was also barred from going out of the hotel, as they had guests to take care of and no relief staff could have come to the hotel in that serious situation.

“My job was to cook eggs and other things that are usually kept in storage,” Vikas recalls in an interview with Anupam Kher. A while later, somebody said that many people had died in a massive fire in Ghatkopar. This spurred him to throw aside his apron and set out in search of his brother, who lived in the same neighbourhood.

On his way, Khanna chanced upon a Muslim family that warned him of rioters in the area. “I told them that my brother was in Ghatkopar, and I didn’t know how to get there. They urged me to come into their house because there was violence raging everywhere,” he said.

But somebody had seen Khanna enter their residence. In no time, a mob arrived at their doorstep and began asking about him. His benefactors claimed that he was their son – a Muslim.

The mob left, but a scared Khanna stayed with them for the next one-and-a-half days. The family also sent somebody to check on his brother in Ghatkopar, who turned out to be safe.

Khanna lost touch with the family in the years that followed, but the incident left a deep imprint on his heart. Since then, he has made it a point to fast for a day during Ramzan, praying for the strangers who helped him in his hour of need.

What an incredibly happy ending to a heartwarming story!

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifeline. He spends his time by reading, swimming, hiking, cycling and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management.Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modelled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly.Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building the strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked and shared. He can be reached at his personal email: mediaiss@gmail.com.

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