Return to Country : Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Parents Get Standing Ovation On Flight to Delhi


New Delhi : It’s the most common of sights. As aeroplanes skid to a stop as they land, passengers invariably ignore the still glowing ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign and make a beeline for the exit, each one determined to be the first one out of the aircraft, as if there’s a prize waiting for them at the end.

Last evening then saw the most uncommon of sights. As a flight from Chennai landed in New Delhi airport, every passenger onboard actually waited instead of making a mad dash to deplane. There was no pushing, shoving, or stubbed toes. The reason? The parents of an Indian hero were onboard.

Even as the nation gears up to welcome back the Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at the Waga border, three days after his MiG-21 Bison was shot down in Pakistan and he was captured by that country’s military, his parents made their way to New Delhi, en route to Amritsar, to be there for the happy occasion.

When passengers sharing the flight with them realised who they were, not only did everyone wait at their seats to allow them to deplane first, the proud parents were cheered on with a standing ovation and a chorus of gratitude. People tweeted videos of the same.

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