From catering small gatherings in his home's backyard in Amritsar to becoming a Michelin-star chef in New York, Vikas Khanna's journey has not been an easy one. Now, a letter that the 48-year-old wrote to his grandmother nearly two decades ago gives us a glimpse into the struggles he faced early on in his career.
Vikas Khanna took to Instagram to share the letter today, telling his followers that he wrote it back during his early "days in New York, but never mailed it."
"I think it was Feb, 2001," wrote the chef, who has previously opened up about how his grandmother inspired his love for cooking.
"I started a new job at a small cafe; near WTC. It's American food, I find it very bland," he started his letter, adding that he worked hard to fit in but still felt "invisible and lost."
"The sweater you knitted keeps me warm. Some days I feel that I will never find my identity here but I will keep going to make you proud one day," he wrote.
In his letter, he said that he missed his city and felt disheartened at times. "Somedays I feel that your tired prince is a slave and would never be anyone or anything. Whatever remains of me is still hopeful because of you," wrote Vikas Khanna, who has today cooked for PM Narendra Modi, the Obamas and the Dalai Lama, among others.
Read Vikas Khanna's entire letter, shared with a picture of him and his grandmother, below:
Found an old letter I had written to my grandma from my early days in New York, but never mailed it. I think it was Feb, 2001. My dearest Biji (Grandma), Bow to touch your feet. I hope your health is fine. I started a new job at a small café near WTC. Its American food, I find it very bland. But I work very hard to fit in. One dishwasher is from Mexico, he is very nice to me. Reminds me of home. New York is very big and very bright and I feel invisible and lost. Winters here hurt my bones. The rain does not have any fragrance. The sweater you knitted keeps me warm. Somedays I feel that I will never find my identity here but I will keep going to make you proud one day. Promise. I miss you and my Golden Temple and my city and my Lawrence Garden and whatever I left behind. Somedays I feel that your tired prince is a slave and would never be anyone or anything. Whatever remains of me is still hopeful because of you. Remember that you used to tell me a story of a heroic seed that broke through the wall and grew. I feel good then. I am far but very close to you. Your Prince Viku
Since being posted one hour ago, Vikas Khanna's Instagram post has collected over 15,000 'likes' and a ton of comments.
"Her love and blessings have taken her Viku where he does not need to fit it," wrote one person. "So beautiful," said another.
Today an internationally-acclaimed chef, Vikas Khanna was born and brought up in Amritsar. He graduated from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education before moving to New York, where he initially worked as a dishwasher.Click for more trending news