Written byShalini Ojha ·
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.
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.
Wing Commander #AbhinandanVartaman 's parents reached Delhi last night from Chennai. This was the scene inside the flight when the passengers realized his parents were onboard. They clapped for them, thanked them made way for them to disembark first. #Respect #AbhinandanMyHero pic.twitter.com/P8USGzbgcp— Paul Oommen (@Paul_Oommen) March 1, 2019
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.
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.
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.
Dear @narendramodi ji , I’m touring the border areas of Punjab I’m presently in Amritsar. Came to know that @pid_gov has decided to release #AbhinandanVartaman from Wagha. It will be a honour for me to go and receive him, as he and his father are alumnus of the NDA as I am.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 28, 2019
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!
Love India news?
Subscribe to stay updated.