PATHANKOT: Perhaps the moustache has changed but his charisma and confidence remains the same. Yes, we are talking about Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who took an aerial stroll today and flew a sortie in MiG-21 fighter aircraft.
'The tiger is back', hails twitter as Veer Chakra awardee Varthaman returned to the cockpit of the MiG-21 fighter jet on Monday morning.
How's the Josh? High sir!-- conveyed Varthaman's confidence as he flew a sortie along with Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa from the Pathankot airbase.
Varthaman had shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet post-Balakot operations had resumed flying operations on August 23. The officer has started flying after medical clearance.
A photo to be remembered for many reasons as this was Dhanoa's last sortie and Varthaman's first after getting his flying category back.
As Varthaman and Dhanoa were captured by the shutterbugs, the Wing Commander kept it simple sporting a trimmed moustache and a suave hairstyle.
However, Twitter users miss the 'tiger's' iconic gun-slinger moustache which became a fad among men across the country earlier this year.
While netizens were happy to see the 36-year-old Wing Commander back in action, they were sad not to see the famous handlebar moustache, which had left everyone mesmerised and in awe.
"Sad to see that he has trimmed his iconic moustache," a user tweeted.
"Ohhh the moustache!!!!" another Twitter user remarked.
"Where is the iconic moustache Mr. #AbhinandanVarthaman ? " wrote another netizen with sad and crying smilies.
"The handlebar is gone. But, the style and smile remain. ," a user wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Some barbershops had offered customers to sport Abhinandan's signature moustache for free of cost. Even hundreds of people sported the look and became a rage in the country.
During Pakistan's counter-attack on India on February 27 in response to the Balakot airstrike, Abhinandan had flown a MiG-21 Bison fighter into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Abhinandan had been grounded due to ejection from his MiG-21 which had been shot down in the aerial conflict with Pakistan Air Force F-16s.
He was released by the Pakistan government on March 1 as a "peace gesture".