Some Lesser Known Facts About Saroo Brierley
- Does Saroo Brierley smoke?: Not Known
- Does Saroo Brierley drink alcohol?: Yes
- He is an Indian born Australian businessman and author; who became famous after a movie “Lion” was filmed on his real-life story.
- Saroo’s childhood was very disturbing; as his father abandoned his family and married another woman.
- His mother ‘Fatima’ used to work as a construction labourer to support her family but couldn’t make enough money to raise him and his 3 siblings Guddu, Kalloo, and Shakila.
- At the age of 5, he started begging for money and food with his elder brothers Guddu and Kalloo.
- One day, he walked out with his brother Guddu to ride the train from their hometown Khandwa to Burhanpur; which is 43 mi (70 kilometres) to the South. The train reached Burhanpur; Guddu told Saroo to wait and assured to come back shortly, but he didn’t. Saroo was so tired and with the hope that his brother would come back, he fell asleep. After waking up, he realized that he was at some unknown place. Eventually, his journey ended at the Howrah Railway Station in Calcutta (now, Kolkata); which is 930 mi (1500 kilometres) from Khandwa. He didn’t know it at that time that his brother Guddu was killed in a train accident on that day.
- He tried hard to return back to his home but he couldn’t. He lived in and around the railway station for almost 2 weeks and then moved into the city. Finally, he met a good guy who took him to the police station and reported him as a lost child. He was sent to a government centre for abandoned children and then to the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption. After the days of investigation and research, it was declared that he is a lost child and shifted to an orphanage.
- In the orphanage, a proper training was given to Saroo and other children like how to eat properly with a knife and fork, etc. After some time, he was adopted by an Australian couple John Brierley and Sue Brierley. The couple adopted one another Indian boy Mantosh and took both of them to Hobart (Australia) with them.
- Saroo learned to speak English and forgot Hindi. In actual, his name Saroo was a mispronunciation of his original name Sheru, which he came to know later.
- After completing his graduation, he started helping his parents with their business. Amid all these things, he always had little memories of his past life. One day, he decided to find his family roots and started searching for his birthplace on Google Earth. He didn’t remember anything except the letter B. After almost six years of search, in 2011, he found a railway station, which was looking quite similar to the memories he had from his past life; the name of this small station was Burhanpur. Then, he followed the satellite images of that station and finally found his hometown “Khandwa.”
- He decided to visit his family in India. In 2012, he travelled to Khandwa and finally reunited with his mother, brother, and sister after 25 years.
- This family reunion was covered by both Indian as well as international media. He also travelled in the local train from Khandwa to recall his childhood experience.
- Later, he wrote a book “A Long Way Home” on his life journey; elaborating on his journey from his childhood to the time he met his biological family and published it in 2013. The book earned critical acclaims.
- In 2016, his book was adapted into the movie “Lion;” which was directed by Garth Davis. Dev Patel played the part of Saroo, Nicole Kidman played the role of his adoptive mother, and Rooney Mara acted the part of Lisa Williams (Lucy, Saroo’s girlfriend).
- The movie was named ‘Lion;’ which is the English of Saroo’s birthname Sheru. The worldwide release of this movie brought international fame to Saroo.
- He celebrates his birthday on 22 May, but this isn’t the day he came into this world, it is the day when he was adopted by John Brierley and Sue Brierley.
- He continues to live in Hobart and also in touch with his biological family. After 2012, he has visited his biological family for more than 12 times.
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