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ZODIAC

Found 12 results

  1. Arguably one of the most intense and pulsating fixture in international cricket, India and Pakistan share a rivalry like no other. Owing to political differences and cross-border tensions, the neighbouring countries have struggled to see eye-to-eye over the years. That's probably why their duels on the cricket field tends to garner such massive viewership and immense public interest. While the Indo-Pak clash doesn't really need any hype or build-up, the broadcasters have often used the rivalry between the two nations to fire things up in a bid to garner public attention ahead of the match. Over the years, we've seen the iconic 'mauka mauka' that tends to mock Pakistan for their poor record against India. Though the broadcaster advertisements for matches between India and Pakistan have always bordered on the xenophobic, but the so-called 'ad war' reached an all-time low after a Pakistani channel - Jazz TV - took it too far by mocking the video released of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistani military after he was captured a day after the Balakot airstrike. Jazz TV advt on #CWC19 takes the Indo-Pak air duel to new level. It uses the air duel over Nowshera and Wing Co Abhinandan Varthaman's issue as a prop. @IAF_MCC @thetribunechd @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/30v4H6MOpU — Ajay Banerjee (@ajaynewsman) June 11, 2019 Apart from bring in bad taste and mocking the sensitive issue of diplomatic tensions that had arose between the countries over the capture, the ad also has racist overtones as it shows Abhinandan's face blackened to show his dark complexion. Needless to say, that it drew a lot of flak on social media. As the 16th June, the date of much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan at the ICC World Cup, comes closer, the Indian YouTubers seems to have come up with a befitting reply for Jazz TV's jibe at the Indian Wing Commander. An Indian YouTube channel going by the name of 'V Seven Pictures' released a brutal takedown of the Pakistani video. Awesome reply by India......#INDvsPAK pic.twitter.com/TybSKAVJg9 — Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) June 14, 2019 In the counter-response video, an Indian fan sitting in a salon can be seen watching Yuvraj Singh's iconic knock when he smashed record six sixes in a T20 international against England. In the middle of the match, a Pakistani fan enters the salon and offers a gift to the Indian fan which actually is a handkerchief. The Pakistani man tells the Indian fan that it will help him to hide his face after India loses against Pakistan in the World Cup match. In the remaining portion of the ad the Indian man and the barber target the Pakistani fan with a twist in Abhinandan's trademark style. India's delightful response struck a chord with the netizens and had the social media buzzing with its creativity. India's delightful response to Moronistan's distasteful ad on Abhinandan.https://t.co/9fZN4phrX7 — Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) June 14, 2019 This one is too good ðð — Ram Sharma (@replysharma) June 14, 2019 There are very few times in life when you feel like whistling loudly at an at an ad...this was one of 'em — Yash Haresh Ratanpal (@YashHRatanpal) June 14, 2019 Epic like.. World Cup to bhul ja... Jhootha cup hi naseeb me hai ð¤£ð¤£ — Manisha ð®ð³ (@nameisMANISHA) June 14, 2019 Fantastic video.. India will beat Pakistan on 16th in Manchester.. — samking (@samking13476751) June 14, 2019 Unki aukat sirf tea cup ki hi hai. Pakistan walon.. "INDIA" naam yaad rakhna. — Manas Kumar (@Manas_tinnu) June 14, 2019 Very creative mind of the person who had made this ad ð — arorað (@arorafbd) June 14, 2019 Moral of the story - Baap Baap hi rehataa hai. Par Cup badal jaata hai. The Abhinandan Cup... — Santosh Kumar Sharma (@myangkorwat) June 14, 2019
  2. The World Cup fever has gripped the entire planet at the moment, but ahead of the much-awaited India vs Pakistan match scheduled for 16th June, the fervour and craziness in the air is at its peak, because like always, this is a highly-anticipated match, which will be watched by everyone, irrespective of their loyalties. So, ahead of this match, a Pakistani TV commercial has been going viral for all the wrong reasons. The advertisement shows a look-alike of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was in Pakistani captivity , wearing the colors of the Indian team jersey. This is the our hero's personality, no one can remain untouched. But next time plz use some good actors. Btw #ShikharDhawan exclusion must be a relief for many competitors #CWC19 #abhinandan pic.twitter.com/mrBFLFLh2d — Megha Jainð®ð³ (@i_meghajain) June 11, 2019 While Indians have mocked fans across the border with the 'Mauka Mauka' ad, a lot of angry Indian fans feel this was below the belt and not in good taste at all. This is shameful. Please just let this be a cricket match. This is beyond just simple banter. #CWC19#INDvPAK https://t.co/shsUrYpCHl — Ritayan Basu | à¦à¦¤à¦¾à§à¦¨ বসৠ(@ritayanbasu) June 11, 2019 Abhinandan's Capture Mocked in Racist #Pakistani Ad For World Cup Clash Against #India. This is how #racism, #nationalism and #sports combines to produce toxic outcomes. Entirely unnecessary. #CWC2019 #crickethttps://t.co/7gcMx2CxjI — Swati Parashar (@swatipash) June 11, 2019 Some people from Pakistan are actually quite in support of this advertisement, and feel there is obviously nothing wrong with it. Abhinandan again ð¤£âï¸ That's an interesting idea about Pakistan-India match in @cricketworldcup being played on 16th June ð #PakvsIndia #Abhinandan #CWC19 #IndiavsPak pic.twitter.com/W3EzxJfYdn — Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) June 11, 2019 However, someone was quick enough to state some facts to stomp all over this uncalled celebration of this mockery. The advertisement is an epic fail because Pak hasn't won a single match against us in the World Cup and the whole #Abhinandan incident was a win for us as well, seeing how he was returned to us safely. Think thoroughly before you try to start a banter, Pak. #EpicFail #CWC19 https://t.co/CHgsJOOFLz — Rahul Mishra (@RahulDKMishra) June 11, 2019 The main question is, how far can you go when it comes to national pride? Is dragging a national and a sensitive issue really important when it comes to making a point? These guys have their hearts filled with hate. #Pakistan stooping to a new low#abhinandan https://t.co/X1KpCfKeFO — SnehalRajani (@Snehal_Rajani) June 11, 2019 Our soldiers are way above a mere, crass advertisement and mockery of this kind not only belittles an individual, but is also a joke on the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers of a country.
  3. IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman needs no introduction. While our B-town celebs are flocked by fans for their fictional representational of characters on screen, Abhinandan Varthaman is a real-life national hero who not only braved all odds to survive an extremely difficult situation but has won the respect and hearts of everyone in the country. © Twitter The squadron leader was captured by Pakistani army last month and he returned 2 days later and was advised to be on a sick leave. However, he surprised everyone once again with his determination when he decided to join back his squadron in Srinagar. The IAF pilot chose to go back to serving his nation instead of staying home. People on social media are lauding him by calling him a lion who's returned for the kill and a hero who is back to serve his nation. He has already expressed his desire to go back to flying fighter jets and hence a medical board is supposed to review his health before a decision can be made on the same. He was captured by Pakistan after his MiG-21 Bison was shot during an aerial combat and even though he was captured and interrogated, he continued to choose his loyalty towards his motherland over saving himself after he refused to give away any sensitive information about India.
  4. Abhinandan Varthaman - the name literally every Indian knows and will never, ever forget. The Wing Commander has now become the epitome of bravery and courage in the country and no could be more proud about it. It's actually not just him, but his name as well that has inspired people and some have even named their new-born after him. Bollywood is also not behind, and people are already planning to make movies about him. But, some people have also decided to cash in on his popularity in the worst way. Turns out, a lot of fake accounts with his name sprung up online soon after his release and well, it's not him, folks! We all know how the number game on social media works, and it's so sad that some people will go to any extreme lengths to get that, even if it means impersonating a national hero online. Government sources confirm that this is a fake Twitter account #AbhinandanVarthaman pic.twitter.com/4mxahDz7Gn — ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2019 Even the Indian Air Force had to step in and issue a proper warning as more and more fake accounts popped up. #FAKE ACCOUNTS : Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman does not have a social media account on any portal (Facebook /Instagram /Twitter). Please avoid following any fake accounts being used in the name of any IAF Airwarrior for spreading misinformation. Jai Hind!!! pic.twitter.com/nG8C7ZUkQ6 — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 6, 2019 So, just a PSA, yes we all would love to follow him on Twitter, but obviously, the real him. Beware of the fake accounts!
  5. The entire nation cheered with pride when Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released by his Pakistani captors to come back home and serve his country once again. From people in small villages to the Bollywood fraternity, every nook and cranny of the country was thrilled to welcome him back home, like a hero who'd just returned from war. © Twitter From people naming their newborns after him to some men aping his gunslinger moustache, everyone has been in awe of the brave pilot, whose presence of mind during his capture will always be remembered. Recently, some folks took to Twitter and raised notions about making a movie about him and also suggested that Ranveer Singh would be best suited to play him in the biopic! Fair enough, Ranveer with his rogue style and a definite moustache clash with Abhinandan can do apt justice to the role for sure. © Twitter While we're sure a movie will definitely surface on Abinandan's bravery, it's just a wait-and-watch situation as to when that happens. After all, we're eager to see who plays him. But for now, the audience seems pleased with Ranveer and here are some endearing tweets they've shared. @RanveerOfficial Why don't you try a Abhinandan style moustache. #AbhinandanMoustache — Pulkit Shah (@pulkitshahh) 3 March 2019 #SanjayLeelaBhansali to produce a film on Balakot airstrike.https://t.co/rJ1vOAQM6J — Filmfare (@filmfare) 4 March 2019 Now he'll cast @RanveerOfficial as Abhinandan — Mohammed Touqeer (@mohd_touqeer_) 5 March 2019 Ranveer Singh to Play "Abhinandan" in Movie Wo 56 Ghante! https://t.co/ZoaTB5z8ZB — sargamarora (@comsargamarora) 4 March 2019 You should enact Abhinandan when his Bio/ Pulwama attack movie will be made — Police (@snjay0) 3 March 2019 You missed one thing Ranveer singh to play the character of abhinandan varthman. — Pinkesh D Chawda (@ChawdaPinkesh) 4 March 2019 I propose that Ranveer Singh should play the role of #Abhinandan in the Bollywood movie about to be made - no one else can carry off that moustache. P.S.: And PLEASE! Not Salman Khan! — The Bad Doctor (@DOCTORATLARGE) 1 March 2019 Any guesses who would play Abhinandan- Ranveer Singh — Deepak Rastogi (@dpakrastogi) 5 March 2019 @RanveerOfficial You should totally inact Respectable WING COMMANDER #Abhinandan We as public will be inspired to see his journey through you! — Mini (@Mini76541361) 5 March 2019 Ranveer Singh as Abhinandan? Too Mooch! https://t.co/Kt01cjFsmf — Deep Halder (@daipayanhalder) 5 March 2019 While the grapevine does tell us that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is going to make a movie on the Balakot airstrikes and with so many people supporting Ranveer to play Abhinandan's role, we're sure Bhansali will definitely consider him.
  6. 35-year-old Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF combat pilot who took down a Pakistani F-16, and did the unthinkable using a MiG-21 to achieve this feat, had been in the news all of last week for his show of valour and selflessness, when it came to performing his duty with the utmost bravery, and maintaining his cool during his captivity. (c) Twitter Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistan Army after he crash-landed across the LoC post an aerial dogfight with his Pakistani counterparts who had infiltrated the Indian airspace early morning on 27th February, in retaliation to India's airstrike on terror camps in Pakistan and PoK on 26th February. Abhinandan became international news when the entire world took notice of the combat pilot's show of courage and calm under during his interrogation, inspiring respect from people around the world. (c) Twitter Having spent over 58 hours in Pakistani captivity, Abhinandan was finally released by the Pakistani government late evening on 1st March in keeping with the diktats of the Geneva Convention for Prisoners of War. The entire nation joined in the celebrations to welcome Abhinandan back, and now, the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti has declared that the Wing Commander shall be the first recipient of the 'Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar' instituted by the organisation. (c) Twitter The announcement regarding the award for Abhinandan was announced in New Delhi by Manidra Jain, whereas the Maharashtra chapter convener Paras Lohade stated that the award. carrying a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh, a memento and a citation, will be presented to Abhinandan on Mahavir Jayanti, which will be celebrated on April 17th this year.
  7. A son has set foot in his motherland once again. A soldier is on his way to reclaim his pride that lies in donning the uniform, a father is all set to hold the apple of his eye once again. A husband is bringing back the biggest joy known to his wife. A son is giving his mother a piece of her heart back, and shall have his father beat his chest filled with inexplicable pride and joy, as he welcomes Abhinandan back home. Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistani army on 27th February, after his MiG-21 Bison crash landed on the other side of the LoC, is finally back home after spending 58 hours in the Pakistani Army's captivity. IAF Pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returns to India from Pakistan Read @ANI story | https://t.co/L9i9Veuty5 pic.twitter.com/pi4LcFaPzg — ANI Digital (@ani_digital) March 1, 2019 What makes this moment all the more special is that it is no longer a private matter for Abhinandan's family or his fellow teammates in the Indian Air Force, but rather, it has transformed into a moment of collective celebration that every Indian is rejoicing in. The kind of solidarity Abhinandan's homecoming evoked in the entire nation could be felt in waves over the last 48 hours. The intensity of pride, hope and gratitude that exuded from the hundreds of people gathered at the Wagah-Attari border earlier today, waiting there for hours on end with bated breath to welcome their hero back, was palpable even through the recordings. While many danced to the beats of dhol and shouted cries of welcome, all of India's hearts beat as one until their own was safely back on Indian soil. IAF Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman at Wagah-Attari border, to cross border soon to enter India. pic.twitter.com/a1hVjwroVw — ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019 Even as scores of people came together to cheer for Abhinandan today, the subtext of political gains and acquisitions kept running strong in the backdrop, never too lazy to ease out of public glare. A known politico from down south made claims about the ruling government's chances of winning by a majority in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections following the airstrike on 26th February, while Pakistan's leaders claim to be handing over Abhinandan as a 'gesture of peace' to prevent further escalation of the ongoing tensions between the two countries. As if all that wasn't enough, amidst this turmoil, there's a certain segment of people rooting for a war to break out between India and Pakistan. Visuals from Attari-Wagah border; Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman to be received by a team of Indian Air Force. pic.twitter.com/C4wv14AEAd — ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019 Honestly, it's difficult to understand such motivations given that such a situation has never benefitted nations. History stands witness to the fact that war has robbed countries of not just manpower, but it immediately disrupts economies, renders the environment inept but the loss of human life and property is enough to set a country back by a couple of years, besides a host of other things which involve draining monetary as well as human resources of a country. But I am not here to elucidate on the havoc wars can wreck on society, but I am merely trying to point out that politicizing a tragedy (that this could have turned out to be) is the last thing we need right now. This moment purely belongs to Abhinandan for what he endured for our nation and its safety, what he stood for in the moments of his captivity and how he came through it all by the end of it. So, let this be his moment, one he will not forget till his last breath. Let's not steal his thunder today. I salute you India's son #Abhinandan #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan pic.twitter.com/xuz8mVrRz7 — Rahulkrishnan (@SRahulkrishnan) March 1, 2019 Meanwhile, a family is whole once again, a squad got their mate back, and the country welcomed a great soldier back in its forces. As for the rest of us in the country, following the news updates on TV and social media, writing and commenting on Abhinandan's homecoming, we have found a hero in the IAF pilot. Abhinandan has turned into an inspiration for us, not only for his display of selflessness, valour and principles, under given circumstances, but he has allowed us to peek into the life of a dedicated protector of the nation, who deserves nothing less than our absolute respect, gratitude and appreciation. Welcome back, Wing Commander Varthaman!
  8. As India waits with bated breathe to welcome their hero, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Bollywood celebrities have already started celebrating and cheering his return. Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander, Abhinandan Varthaman was held captive by the Pakistan Army since Wednesday, after his aircraft crashed on the other side of LoC during aerial combat between the two countries. Since then, the nation has been praying for his safety and for him to come back home, as Bollywood's King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan said, "There is no better feeling than coming back home." © Reuters Looks like people's prayers were finally heard on Thursday, when Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced that Varthaman will be released today as a 'gesture of peace'. People have already gathered in huge crowds at the Attari-Wagah border to welcome their hero, who is expected to return to India shortly. From Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Karan Johar to Preity Zinta; everyone is praising Varthaman for his valour and courage and praying for his safe return. There is no better feeling than Coming back Home, for home is the place of love, hope & dreams. Ur bravery makes us stronger. Eternally grateful. #WelcomeBackAbhinandan pic.twitter.com/NFTRINu6Mw — Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) March 1, 2019 Welcome back home #WelcomeBackAbinandan a true hero. These humane actions give hope that all humanity is not lost. Bharat mata ki Jai — Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) March 1, 2019 View this post on Instagram It's midnight & I cannot sleep. I'm so happy that #AbhinandanVartaman is going to be coming home. I can only imagine what his family feels right now. Every minute will feel like a lifetime & the heart will skip many beats. #WelcomeBackAbhinandan ð We salute your bravery & valour. #Jaihind ð®ð³ #RealHero #Indianairforce A post shared by Preity G Zinta (@realpz) on Mar 1, 2019 at 12:22am PST #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan You are a real hero and we as a nation stand beside you, Thank you for your selfless service, Jai Hind ð®ð³ — Sidharth Malhotra (@SidMalhotra) March 1, 2019 Welcome Back Home Dear #Abhinanadan - we salute your courage, bravery & service to our nation. ð®ð³ ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ — Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) March 1, 2019 Everyone awaits your return . Proud of you sir !! Salutes to the brave son of india #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan — Emraan Hashmi (@emraanhashmi) March 1, 2019 पà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤°à¥ à¤à¤­à¤¿à¤¨à¤à¤¦à¤¨ ! à¤à¤ªà¤à¤¾ भारत à¤à¥ धरतॠपर à¤à¤ बार फिर सॠà¤à¤­à¤¿à¤¨à¤à¤¦à¤¨ हà¥à¥¤ हम सबà¤à¥ समय समय पर साहस, धà¥à¤°à¥à¤¯, विशà¥à¤µà¤¾à¤¸, à¤à¤°à¥à¤µ à¤à¤° à¤à¥à¤°à¤µ वालॠà¤à¥à¤¤à¥ à¤à¤¾à¤à¤¤à¥ मिसाल à¤à¥ à¤à¤¼à¤°à¥à¤°à¤¤ पड़तॠहà¥à¥¤ विपरà¥à¤¤ परिसà¥à¤¥à¤¿à¤¤à¤¿à¤¯à¥à¤ मà¥à¤ à¤à¤ªà¤à¥ वà¥à¤¯à¤à¥à¤¤à¤¿à¤¤à¥à¤µ नॠहमà¥à¤ वॠदिà¤à¤¾à¤¯à¤¾à¥¤ à¤à¤¸à¤à¥ लिठ130 à¤à¤°à¥à¤¡à¤¼ भारतवासियà¥à¤ à¤à¥ तरफ़ सॠधनà¥à¤¯à¤µà¤¾à¤¦à¥¤à¤à¥à¤¤à¥ रहà¥à¥¤ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/WY6tZikO3d — Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) March 1, 2019 We salute your bravery and valour....we applaud your strength in the face of adversity....#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan — Karan Johar (@karanjohar) March 1, 2019
  9. On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his government will release captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman today as a 'gesture of peace'. Since then, the nation's happiness and excitement knew no bounds as people from across the country geared up, like one big family, to welcome their hero. © Facebook Reportedly, the convoy of vehicles carrying Varthaman reached the Attari Wagah Border late afternoon, from where he was handed over to India moments ago as he crossed the LoC. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was kept in the custody of the Pakistan Army since Wednesday, after his aircraft crashed on the other side of the LoC, during aerial combat between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes. © Twitter When the news of Varthaman's captivity made headlines, the nation had only one prayer on their lips, 'Bring Back Abhinandan'. Furthermore, the hashtags #SayNoToWar and the happiness in both the countries over the release of Varthaman, prove that both people across the border stand united for peace and against war. Pakistan: Visuals from Wagah in Lahore; IAF Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman will soon be handed over to the Indian Air Force at Attari-Wagah border pic.twitter.com/xEPghVgNzi — ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2019 In fact, earlier today, in a truly heartwarming gesture, Varthaman's parents were given a standing ovation by the passengers as they deboarded the flight in Delhi. While expressing his gratitude to Varthaman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said every Indian is proud of him. Now that the nation's hero is back, people can't stop rejoicing and the insane crowd at Wagah Border cheering for him and his return reiterates the same. Bravest of brave Wing Commander Abhinandan return backs to India ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/vHqjLaVy8W — Shubhi (@shubh_i_am_87) March 1, 2019 Welcome back Abhinandan sir the entire nation is proud of your selflessness and bravery ! We salute you ðð Jai Hind!ð®ð³ð®ð³#WelcomeHomeAbhinandan pic.twitter.com/cMOm69uf7p — Ritesh Pandeyð (@RiteshPandeys) March 1, 2019 Finally pahunch gaye. Jai Hind.ð®ð³ ð #Abhinandan #AbhinandanVarthaman #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan pic.twitter.com/0SPfT2uO6D — Goutam Kunal (@goutamkunal) March 1, 2019 Welcoming home a true fighter, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. — Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) March 1, 2019 Welcome back #Abhinandan ...a true war hero! And pathetic propaganda attempts by Pakistan - again. They keep doing it, and some people in India, and indeed around the world, keep falling for it :( Hope folks in India and other countries get a little wiser after this episode. — Amit Paranjape (@aparanjape) March 1, 2019 #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan Salute To Abhinandan And Welcome To India pic.twitter.com/bHb1anMFm6 — Technical Hindustani (@TecHindustani) March 1, 2019
  10. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is not my relative. I know nothing about him except his name and his profession. As a matter of fact, I did not even know about his existence as of this past Wednesday. But in a matter of 48 hours, the man has managed to become something much bigger than just another Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilot to me. He has become a visual representation of the very hero I would envision as a kid, as I watched my father and my friends' fathers go to battle as Indian Army officers. © Twitter Earlier this week, I remember being in a particularly chirpy mood and my Instagram and Whatsapp stories were flooded with praises for the IAF on the day of the air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan. Oh, what a glorious moment it was. For someone like me, watching our nation's forces go head-to-head with the very evil that has been threatening our nation's security on a daily basis, and most recently snatched over 40 precious lives from us, was nothing short of spectacular. But like a tight slap on my face that I never saw coming, the next day, my phone blew up with the headlines that an Indian pilot had been 'captured' by Pakistan. And the first thought that popped in my head was not about the pilot, not about Pakistan or what they were doing to him, but it was about his family. The family of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Look, when you live in the defence world, you find heavy terms like 'war', 'death', 'missing' and phrases like 'so sorry for your loss', 'our prayers are with you' and 'be strong' being peppered everywhere in your surroundings. It could be your own father, a younger brother, or even a classmate; and you just have to be ready for the worst, at all times. Funny thing is that no one really tells you how to prepare for the worst. There is no course given to us as kids in some secret barrack on 'what to do when your daddy/brother/friend goes to battle and may never come back'. We don't walk around discussing the potentially terrible future of our loved ones. It's a silent fear that we carry in our hearts every day and keep it locked in there, praying it remains a fear...and does not become a reality. Which is why the second I heard that an Indian pilot has been captured in Pakistan, my mind jumped to the worst possible conclusion. And when those God-awful videos popped up all over Twitter showing 'Abhi' being paraded on the streets, all bloodied and bound, surrounded by a mob clearly baying for his blood...it took everything I had to not breakdown right there on my desk in the middle of work. There he was, one of our own, almost like a family member, all alone in enemy territory, facing what looked like a gruesome death. But then another video surfaced, where the officer, still bloodied and blindfolded, was calmly addressing his captors. Yes, calmly. Not an ounce of panic in his voice. No high-pitched whimpers of a man who knows he is facing death...but a calm set of simple, straightforward words leaving his mouth. He flatly refused to answer certain questions, while being confident and composed, but still bleeding. I was stunned. Not surprised, but stunned to the core. Surely he was trained in what to do in a grave situation like that, but still, the man was displaying something I had never seen in my entire life. Something that I had only heard of from my many friends serving in the Army themselves...it was courage. Courage is a word we use so liberally in our daily lives. “Come on. Be brave. Down that flaming vodka shot!” Yes, we throw it around loosely without really thinking about the true meaning of the word. But the Wing Commander took courage to another level by showing his nerves of pure steel and maintaining his wits about himself while in enemy territory. It was nothing but a sheer display of absolute class. This instantly transported me back to school, when on one particular day, my friend and I were asked to rush to the house of another close friend. Turns out, his father was on life support after being severely wounded in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir, and he was leaving to see his dad that very day. My friend was visibly shaken. We, the kids, could just look at him and hold his hands while he choked back tears and crushed a Frooti pack in his palm. But what I will never forget is what his mother did that day. Aunty was sitting on the sofa, surrounded by other officers and their wives, who were consoling her and assuring her that everything was going to be okay. She was wearing white, her face was ashen and her eyes were lowered, but her head wasn't. There were no tears running down her face and she seemed to be giving polite responses to everyone. I was stunned right to my bones. How was this woman doing that? How was she, after listening to such ghastly news, still looking so unfazed? A 12-year-old me thought it was something almost rude and unnatural, but at 29, today I realise that it was a display of extraordinary courage by a brave woman. Courage to get a grip of one's emotions, especially in situations when any human can simply break down into a helpless puddle. Which is exactly what Wing Commander Abhinandan displayed while captured in enemy territory. It reminded me of the values and the belief system I was brought up in while my parents were serving. While no one really tells you these things, but somehow, as you grow into an adult, these virtues of pride and honour keep developing within you, and reflect somehow in your daily life, without you even realising it. It's something you will only see if you've lived life as a 'privileged Army brat', as some civilians fondly like to call us. The officer radiated three things while in captivity – honour, class and bravery, which I reckon should be seen as the ultimate life lessons for every youngster in this country. You will not find a book telling you how to inculcate these traits in your life, but you will just have to experience and embrace it. I miss watching these three traits in constant action around me, now that I have moved to the civil life. As for Abhi, who has now become the face of the page-turning diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan, I am pretty sure every single person across the nation is by now familiar with his name, his heroics, where he is from and how he returns home today. As the nation proudly welcomes back its son into its arms, I, a tired-old Army kid, has never been more ridiculously proud of my defence background. We are the lot that, from the outside, appear spoiled and privileged, living the 'good life'; but only we know the cost paid for those comforts. We are those few who truly know what sacrifice and courage mean, and what it takes to live a life of honour, and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, is our new-age Superman, who will forever be remembered as the man who showed the word the true class of the Indian Armed Forces, even while facing death in enemy territory.
  11. Everyone has been waiting with bated breath for the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, since his return back to Indian soil was promised by the Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan. The peace gesture has made a big impact on the current situation between the two countries and we hope the tension slowly dies away with the very kind and amicable step taken by Pakistan towards solidifying positive ties between India and Pakistan. (c)Twitter In the wake of the current tensions, while I write this, Wing Commander Abhinandan would have already reached the Wagah Border, ready to come back home to his parents who're frantically waiting to see him. But before his parents made their way to Amritsar to receive their son, they were on an Indigo flight from Chennai to Delhi and something wonderful happened in-flight! Abhinandan's parents were recognised by the passengers who'd boarded the flight with them and there was nothing less than ecstatic cheering and benevolent greetings throughout the trip, for them. (c)Twitter A video on social media has gone viral showing the passengers cheering and clapping for the parents. विà¤à¤ à¤à¤®à¤¾à¤à¤¡à¤° à¤à¤­à¤¿à¤¨à¤à¤¦à¤¨ à¤à¥ माता पिता à¤à¤¬ दिलà¥à¤²à¥ पहà¥à¤à¤à¥ तॠफà¥à¤²à¤¾à¤à¤ मà¥à¤ मà¥à¤à¥à¤¦ यातà¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¯à¥à¤ नà¥à¤à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾ तालियà¥à¤ सॠसà¥à¤µà¤¾à¤à¤¤...ðð pic.twitter.com/N9j8EskACs — Ravi Bhadoria रवि भदà¥à¤°à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾(@ravibhadoria) 1 March 2019 (c)Twitter The parents made their way to Amritsar from Delhi, once the flight landed. The Wing Commander's father Retd Air Marshal S Varthaman is a well-respected officer and his mother Shobha Varthaman is a doctor. This is surely a day of relief and pride for the parents of a courageous and valorous Wing Commander.
  12. Every nation stands tall and remains unbreakable courtesy to the knights in uniforms who stand guard at our borders, shores and skies 24X7. These fearless (and needless to say, selfless) men and women hold the country's defences, laying down their lives in the line of fire to ensure that their countrymen get to lead a life that's not threatened by fear or uncertainty. Their job description is special for more than one reason. We find them setting up their homes in the most remote areas of the country, or someplace with adverse climatic conditions, marking their territories and standing guard over it, should its borders be threatened. The Indian subcontinent boasts of such mighty knights of its own, who put on such a display of bravado in the face of challenge, which is matched only by a few others. (c) Twitter Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is one such Indian officer who wears the uniform with pride and stands by its ideals to the hilt. Abhinandan is a National Defence Academy (NDA) Khadakwasla alumnus, who is an officer with 51 Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which is known as Sword Arms and is based in Srinagar. Hailing from Chennai, Abhinandan has been a fighter pilot with the IAF for the last 16 years and was an established Sukhoi-30 fighter pilot before he joined the 51 Squadron. A native from Chennai, Abhinandan was brought up respecting the principles of the armed forces, since his father is also an Air Force veteran. (c) Twitter Born to noted Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, who retired as the Air-Officer-Commanding of the Eastern Command in Shillong in 2012, Abhinandan appeared in an episode of 'Jai Hind' in 2011, which was telecasted on NDTV Good Times. Holding a title of Flight Lieutenant at the time, he had said that it takes “bad attitude” to be a good Sukhoi pilot. He further added that there were no two ways about “blind faith” and trust that officers place on their co-pilots and the training they receive. The 34-year-old Wing Commander, who currently flies a MiG-21 Bison, was captured by the Pakistan Armed Forces after he crash-landed across the LoC after an aerial dogfight with his Pakistani counterparts who had infiltrated the Indian airspace early morning yesterday, in retaliation to India's airstrike on terror camps in Pakistan and PoK. (c) Twitter The videos of his captivity began doing the rounds of social media. The first one showed the fighter pilot being beaten by an angry mob comprising of Pakistani locals until the Pakistani army intervened and brought Abhinandan to safety. The second video clip showed a wounded and blindfolded Abhinandan enquiring about his whereabouts, and calmly giving his name and service number when enquired by the Pakistani officers. The third and final video showed him in a better space of mind, sipping on a cup of tea and informing the world that the Pakistani Army has treated him very well, and assuring that they've have been “thorough gentlemen” in their behaviour. However, for most Indians, the video series did more than just the obvious. (c) Twitter Sure, we saw the Pakistani Army's graciousness in keeping up with the ideals and ethics of combat, and hold up the principles of humanity but it was also Abhinandan's grit and strength in the face of adversity that stirred the spirit of every Indian who saw the man hold his chin up even when he realised he was in Pakistan's captivity. In a tweet earlier today, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh hailed Abhinandan an as “embodiment of a mentally tough, selfless and courageous soldier” and hoped for his safe return at the earliest. #WingCommanderAbhinandan is an embodiment of a mentally tough, selfless & courageous soldier. During these testing times the country stands, as one, behind him & his family. Our efforts are on & under the #GenevaConvention we hope that the brave pilot would return home soon. — Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) February 28, 2019 But it isn't just the minister who feels that way. Several young people across the country have come to find a different kind of hero in Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. They have seen Abhinandan prove that his nerves are made of steels, whose display of quiet strength and composure took away the power from his captors. Abhinandan faced the Pakistani Army officers with the kind of attitude and demeanour befitting an officer of the Indian Armed Forces. Not only did he display immense strength of will, but he also didn't step away from the ideals an officer must abide by, and followed protocol by displaying dignity of character and respect towards the officers of the Pakistani army. (c) Twitter He quickly became the prime example of the kind of hero people wish to look up to, since Abhinandan's calm during such a moment of duress inspired respect not only from his fellow countrymen, but also from Pakistani citizens, who praised his bravado and show of dignity. But if you thought the video was all, hold your thoughts. Did you know, that according to an India Today report Abhinandan swallowed all the confidential documents and maps he had on himself to ensure they don't end up with the Pakistani army after he gets captured? Here is what 20-somethings are saying about their new-found hero in Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman: (c)Flickr/MensXP Even though he was captured, Abhinandan maintained the dignity of being a representative of our Forces as well as our country, and stood by demands of protocol he might have been given the training for. (c) Flickr/MensXP We agree to what Aditya pointed out right there. Being a soldier Abhinandan ensured that none of confidential documents or information he possessed could be accessed by the Pakistani army officers. He stood his ground and displayed integrity. (c) Flickr/MensXP Not only as an officer in the Indian Armed Forces, but also as a fellow human being, Abhinandan was respectful to the Pakistani officers in the video, and acknowledged their graciousness and hospitality after his captivity. (c) Flickr/MensXP Abhinandan's calmness and display of respect towards Pakistani officers has touched the hearts of million! (c) Flickr/MensXP Abhinandan made numerous young men and women in the country and around the world, stop and take note of the bravado and do or die spirit thriving in the heart of every soldier around this world. Now that Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has gone on record to state that Abhinandan will be released on 1st March, as a sign of de-escalation and peace treaty between the two countries, we positively hope that the growing tension will recede and both nations can give peace a chance. Pakistan will release Indian Pilot Abhinandan tomorrow as a gesture of peace: Prime Minister Imran Khan pic.twitter.com/6aUN4S9JVb — Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) February 28, 2019
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