Saroo Brierley is a famous author who came into the limelight through the narration of his life ordeal in his autobiographical book entitled A Long Way From Home. He was born as Sheru Munshi Khan in India but was accidentally separated from his Indian family at the age of five. After passing through various unpleasant life circumstances, he got back together with his biological mother and siblings after twenty-five years. During the time Saroo was separated from his biological family, he was adopted by an Australian family.
Following the mispronunciation of his name Sheru by his foster parents, the mispronounced version Saroo stuck. His book which was published in 2013 became an inspiration to many and was adapted into the movie Lion as directed by Garth Davis. It was released in 2016 to critical acclaim and featured some Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel. To further prove it’s worth, the movie earned six nominations for the Academy Awards.
Saroo Brierley was born in Ganesh Talai, Khandwa, India as Sheru Munshi Khan in 1981. He didn’t get much fatherly care and affection as his father abandoned the family when he was at a very young age. Saroo and his three other siblings were single-handedly raised by their mother, Kamla Munshi. She did menial jobs in order to make ends meet but even at that, her earnings didn’t prevent her family from experiencing severe financial restraints. Kamla was unable to send her children to school which forced them to learn how to make a living from the streets.
Saroo and his older brothers began earning little proceeds from begging at the railways when he was five years old. His life ordeal began on a certain day when his elder brother wanted to go to the city of Burhanpur in India by train from their hometown, Khandwa. Saroo opted to go with him and they both left for the city. By the time the train arrived at the City, Saroo Brierley was very tired as it was a 70-kilometer journey. His elder brother then asked him to wait at the station while he goes to handle his business and would be back.
After a while when Saroo didn’t see his brother, he boarded another train that was parked in the station, hoping that his brother was on it. When he got on the train and didn’t see his brother, he went to sleep waiting for his brother to come for him as he promised. By the time he woke up, the train had traveled across many countries.
Saroo Brierley eventually alighted from the train at Howrah railway station in Kolkata when someone opened the door to his carriage. He had unknowingly traveled 1,500 km away from his hometown. Sadly, that same day, his elder brother who promised to come back for him was killed by a train.
After several failed attempts to return back to his family, Saroo Brierley finally found himself at the city police station and was later moved to the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption where they tried to help him locate his family but Saroo’s knowledge about his hometown was very narrow. As a result of that, he was put up for adoption and ended up with the Brierley family in Australia.
This stroke of bad luck turned Saroo Brierley’s life around in the most positive way. He encountered a positive turn around in his life after the adoption as he enrolled at Australian International Hotel School, Canberra and there, he studied Business and Hospitality. Having the knowledge that he has a family somewhere, Brierley never stopped searching for his Indian family through Google Earth.
Saroo Brierley’s Brothers
Following his relentless efforts, Saroo re-united with his biological mother and siblings in 2012 with the help of Google Earth and a Facebook group based in his hometown, Khandwa. At the moment, he lives in Hobart and has maintained steady communication with his Indian family.
Saroo has four siblings, three from his Indian family; two brothers named Guddu and Kallu alongside his sister, Shekila. Then Mantosh is his adoptive brother from his Australian parents. Unfortunately, Guddu was killed by a train when he was young. Kallu works as a factory manager while his sister, Shekila works as a school teacher.
Is He Married?
Regarding his personal life, Saroo Brierley is presently in a loving relationship with his girlfriend, Lisa Williams. The couple is yet to solemnize their union, which means that Saroo is not married.