Story of Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai mirrors that of Abhinandan Varthaman, sadly the co-incidence doesn’t end there

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani jet was downed. The irony here is that Abhinandan’s father, retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, was also a consultant for the Mani Ratnam film Kaatru Veliyidai. The film’s storyline is similar to Pakistan’s capture of Abhinandan Varthaman.

The film maker Mani Rathnam told the Hindu, “We had a strong guide in Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, and he had given us several inputs on the Indian Air Force. He has been a very great source of inspiration for us.” 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.”

IAF Air Strike: Complete coverage

Abhinandan comes from a family background who have served in different ranks. Apart from his father, his grandfather is also a retired Indian Air Force personnel. According to NewsX, even Abhinandan’s wife, Tanvi Marwah, has served in the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a Squadron Leader. Tanvi was honoured several times for her bravery.

Abhinandan’s father also penned down an emotional message. “Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely…a true soldier… we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands and blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe and sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy,” said Simhakutty Varthaman, reported News 24.

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