There is not a single person in the country who do not know who IAF wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is. While the hot topic of conversation about him is his capture by the Pakistani Security forces and his eventual return to India, another reason for his popularity is his gunslinger moustache.
Many of the posters which campaigned for Abhinandan's release featured his moustache which has now become his trademark.
Young men across India began to shave their facial hair in the shape of the IAF pilot's moustache. They said that they are paying homage to his bravery by emulating his style. In Bengaluru, Abhinandan's moustache was a trending topic both online and offline with many young men flocking to their barbers to have their moustache styled like his.
"Abhinandan is a braveheart and his moustache speaks of valour and grit behind enemy lines. Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan were my style gurus, but now Abhinandan is my hero," Chand Mohammed, a 32-year-old salesman in Bengaluru told Times of India.
He added that his cousin in Secunderabad, in Telangana had also shaped his moustache like Abhinandan's. Mohammed also said, "Abhinandan risked his life for the country. He's our role model and I decided to have a similar moustache."
Raunak Jalan, on Twitter, said, "Abhinandan's moustache will be the next styling sensation throughout India. Don't be flabbergasted by the fact when the barber asks you 'Abhinandan cut chahiye?'"
Men salons in Bengaluru are offering a 50 per cent promotional discount for those who want the Abhinandan moustache. According to a TOI report, a men's beauty salon, Spin Hair Saloon in Bagalagunte near Soladevanahalli is offering to help men make their moustaches this style free of charge.
"I was watching TV on Friday and was proud to see Abhinandan return. On Saturday morning, I learnt that many men are trimming their moustaches like his. I decided to do it too," Narasimhamurthy K, a cab driver in the city said.
Some even went on to compare Abhinandan's moustache with Tamil Actor Rajinikanth's style in his latest movie, Petta.