The Hush Post| 10.19 am | two-minute-read
Truth is stranger than fiction. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s father, Air Marshall (retd) S Varthaman, was a consultant for a movie called Kaatru Veliyidai produced by Mani Ratnam. In that movie Indian Air Force Squadron Leader Varun Chakrapani advances into enemy territory during the 1999 Kargil War.
His fighter jet is shot down. He is subsequently captured by the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi.
He is swiftly taken by Pakistan as a Prisoner of War and tortured. In Pakistan custody, Varun begins thinking of his days with Leela, played by Aditi Rao Hydari in the film.
Today, the entire country is praying for the safe return of Air Marshall’s son Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The similarities between the film and real situations are stark.
Yesterday, in a dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan while chasing an F-16 out of India’s territory crossed over to the PoK and was brought down by the enemy. Subsequently, he was captured and taken PoW.
As a PoW, the videos which went viral showed the IAF officer in great composure despite being in the enemy hands.
Videos of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman were widely circulated on social media.
Tamil star and Kaatru Veliyidai’s hero Karthi wrote on Twitter, “I’m very fortunate to have met a few of our fighter pilots in #IAF. It’s a true honour to know them and they are men of a different league. I sincerely pray for the safe return of our warriors.”
Meanwhile, Air Marshall Varthaman’s father has said that his family would like to thank everybody for the dood wishes for his son’s safe return. He also said: “I am proud of my son and the courage he had shown while being a PoW.”
Varthaman’a entire family is full of pilots — his father retired as Air Marhsall, his wife is also a retired chopper pilot with the IAF.