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News18 » Lifestyle
2-min read

My Sense of Hunger Comes From New York: Vikas Khanna Hits Back at Colonial Idea of 'Hungry India'

Chef Vikas Khanna said that his understanding of hunger came from his struggling days in New York, and not in Amritsar where community kitchens feed everyone.


Updated:June 27, 2020, 4:36 PM IST
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My Sense of Hunger Comes From New York: Vikas Khanna Hits Back at Colonial Idea of 'Hungry India'
Vikas Khanna

Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna is one of the celebrities who has been doing his best to help the needy during the coronavirus pandemic. He recently organised a massive food distribution drive to provide meals and essential supplies to thousands of Dabbawalas in Mumbai as well as widows in Vrindavan.

The 48-year-old chef, author and filmmaker, despite being in New York, started the Feed India initiative a couple of months ago. This week he launched a food drive for transgenders and differently abled people.

He was on a BBC programme to talk about his efforts. Vikas said that since he is thousands of miles away, he used Twitter to get dry ration delivered.

He was asked about the thousands of migrants travelling back to their native places during the lockdown, and the adversities they have been facing. The anchor asked, "These days you are famous. You have cooked for the Obamas, you have been on TV shows with Gordon Ramsay. But it wasn't always that way. You are not from a rich family so I dare say you understand how precarious it can be in India."

Vikas said, "I understand, but my sense of hunger didn't come from India so much, because I was born and raised in Amritsar, and we have a huge community kitchen where everyone gets fed. But my sense of hunger came from New York, when I was struggling at the very bottom, and it was not easy for a brown kid who came to America with the dream of winning a Michelin star."

"My sense of hunger came from New York, when I used to be at Grand Central, sleeping around. This is also post 9/11, so it was not easy for us to get jobs," he added.

Watch the interview here:

Vikas is being lauded on social media with many taking his reply as a fitting answer to 'colonial hangover'.

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