Getting a hug has been a long pursuit for this 68-year-old man from Coimbatore.
Rewind to two years ago: Sadasivan was sitting in his living room in Coimbatore, reading about the horrific incident of a dog being thrown down from a roof by two medical students. The video affected him so much that he decided he had to see the animal. He carefully cut out every single article about the dog Bhadra from newspapers, and then began his search.
In July 2016, Bhadra was thrown off the roof by a medical student while his friend filmed it. The video of the cruelty went viral, and while the dog was initially feared dead, she was later found alive. Bhadra was reported to have suffered two spinal fractures, making her limp while she walked. The men who threw her were suspended from college. They were arrested by the police, but released on bail soon after.
â€śI felt bad for Bhadra. It was, after all, a poor voiceless animal and I couldnâ€™t imagine the trauma it went through. It really affected me,â€ť Sadasivan says.
A year back when he visited Chennai, Sadasivan went to the Kundrathur police station to get more information, as the incident had taken place in that area. However, they didnâ€™t have much to tell him.
Being a retired police officer with over 15 years of experience, he decided to put his investigation skills back to use.
Sadasivan figured that the route to Bhadra was through her caretakers. Antony Rubin and a few other animal activists had rescued the dog and given her a new home.
Karthik Dhandapani, long-time Blue Cross volunteer, and his mother had taken Bhadra under their care.
After a few trips to the police station and the post office, Sadasivan finally zeroed in on Rubinâ€™s address. He knocked on his door to find an unassuming Rubin who was trying to figure out whether this manâ€™s request was real.
At 8:30 pm on June 18, Sadasivan struck one thing off his bucket-list as he hugged the very happy and healthy Bhadra, who couldnâ€™t stop wagging her tail.
â€śIt was sweet to know that Bhadra was not forgotten in a few months and how much her story has affected people far and wide. It was heart-warming to see how much people care for animals,â€ť says Antony says.
Karthik too was moved by Sadasivanâ€™s efforts to meet Bhadra. â€śI was very touched to meet this old man who had come all the way to meet her. I always am so happy when anyone comes to meet Bhadra. I love to share that happiness with as many people,â€ť he says.
Well, this isnâ€™t the first time Sadasivan has gone on such a conquest.
Some time back when he read about a 22-year-old Dalit man, Shankar, who was hacked to death in broad daylight for marrying a woman from the Thevar community, Sadasivan went to Udumalpet to meet the widow.
(This story was first published in The Quint and has been reproduced here with permission.)