#AbhinandanMyHero: Wing Commander's parents get standing ovation on flight
On realizing that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's parents were traveling with them on a Delhi-bound flight, passengers cheered, clapped and gave them a standing ovation. Abhinandan's parents took a flight from Chennai that landed at the national capital a little after midnight. The IAF pilot, whose stellar bravery made him the nation's hero, will be released by Pakistan later in the day.
Passengers feel privileged to share flight with the hero's parents
Abhinandan's father is a decorated officer himself, who was pleased to see his son's behavior in face of danger. It is understandable that citizens of India have not only become Abhinandan's fans but are in awe of his parents as well. Hence, Retd. Air Marshal S Varthaman and his wife, Dr. Shobha Varthaman got a rousing welcome when they landed in Delhi.
Passengers let proud parents exit the plane first
Backstory: After shooting down F-16, Abhinandan's jet had crashed
Amid tensions between India and Pakistan, Abhinandan displayed unique determination. The IAF pilot, flying the MiG-21 Bison, shot down a US-made F-16 jet which PAF used to breach Indian airspace on Wednesday. However, Abhinandan's jet crashed. While he ejected safely, he landed on the wrong side of the LoC and was captured by the Pakistani army. His well being concerned one and all.
As a "peace gesture", Imran Khan announced Abhinandan's release
On Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan would be released as a "peace gesture". Khan reiterated his country doesn't want to escalate tensions with India. The big announcement sent a wave of happiness across the nation. Abhinandan will enter his country via the Wagah border, where the mood is already celebratory. His parents left for Amritsar soon after reaching Delhi.
The country awaits its hero
IAF will also welcome Abhinandan at Wagah
On Thursday, IAF's Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor in a press conference said the forces were glad Abhinandan was returning home. "We see it as a gesture in consonance with the Geneva Convention," Kapoor said. A delegation of IAF will receive Abhinandan at the border. Notably, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also sought permission from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to receive the IAF pilot.
Captain Amarinder wants to welcome the hero
Abhinandan scripted history by shooting an F-16 jet
While the entire nation is in a joyous mood, it's also important to note that Abhinandan's talents are limitless. He is the first pilot to have shot down an F-16 jet, finding a place for himself in history. While F-16 jet is a more modernized jet than MiG-21 Bison, what Abhinandan has done proves the man behind the machine matters. We salute you, Sir!