As the entire nation is praying for the safe return of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who has been captured in Pakistan, an old video of his father Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman speaking at the audio launch of ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam's Kaatru Veliyidai in Chennai in 2017 has been going viral on social media platforms.
Kaatru Veliyidai was about how IAF pilot Varun Chakrapani (played by Karthi), who was captured by the Pakistani Army and imprisoned as a Prisoner of War (PoW) during the 1999 Kargil War, escapes and reaches India. "There are many experiences in my life, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be here in a movie audio release function. It's a great honour," S Varthaman had said.
"Talking and filming about the Air Force and feeling for the Air Force is something which is perhaps missing on our Indian celluloid. When I heard about Kaatru Veliyidai, I wanted to support the team. The Indian Air Force, as well as our entire armed forces, has been fighting a continuous war ever since our independence from 1947. Many do not realize and much so, deep down in the south, Chennai. And, these are the films that will awaken an audience and the people to feel for the military to do whatever they have to do with pride and honor so that our country and nation can flourish. To recognize us in the film is really an honor for the Indian Air Force and I thank Mani Ratnam for it," said Air Marshal Varthaman.