Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Monday flew a joint sortie with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in MiG-21 fighter.
Abhinandan Varthaman had recently been awarded the Vir Chakra for shooting down a Pakistan fighter jet in a dogfight earlier this year. Varthaman had been taken captive by Pakistan after being shot down over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in a dogfight which came in response to the Pulwama terror attack. The pilot was released two days after his capture, which de-escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.
During the negotiations that had followed in the escalating tensions after he was captured, Varthaman had become the face of the crisis - and what made him recognizable was his signature gunslinger moustache. Varthaman who sported a 'gunslinger' or 'handlebar' moustache had gained massive popularity with lots of people emulating the 'hero moustache.'
Videos and photos from Monday's flight of the MiG-21 however, showed that Varthaman had shaved off the moustache. Several desis were puzzled by this.
Abhinandan minus his signature moustache but great that he quickly came back to flying pic.twitter.com/fvc9TcUjxg— Aviator Anil Chopra (@Chopsyturvey) September 2, 2019
The moustache may be gone, but the charisma remains the same. "Moustache or no Moustache, he will ever be our Hero," feel Netizens.
Commander AV can fly any Air Craft due to his tremendous courage and confidence.— CA Chandravijay Shah (@cvijayshah) September 2, 2019
But he should not have truncated his distinct and symbolic Moustache. Hope, he restores it in due course, unless he has any compelling reason.
Moustache or no Moustache, he will ever be our Hero. https://t.co/YnCNWjSWyM