‘Lion’ inspires at library cocktail hour


‘Lion’, the story that had audiences crying and captivated across the globe, came to Ipswich recently in the form of Saroo Brierley, author of A Long Way Home. Saroo was guest speaker at Cocktail Hour at the Ipswich Library last month.

‘Lion’ is the screen adaptation of his book and true-life story. Saroo is determined not to make his story “a sob story”, rather a story “that’s got tragedy, but ends in triumph.”

The story begins with Saroo lost at a train station waiting for his brother at age 5. Trying to find his way home he ended up living on the streets of Calcutta for three weeks, until he was placed in an orphanage and adopted by Tasmanian couple, Sue and John Brierley.

Saroo described his adoptive parents as “temples”, saying “they were my second chance at life.” Then, Saroo decided that he must attempt to find his birth family.

Using Google Earth and an image etched in his brain, he finally found his town Khandwa on the map and travelled to India to try and find members of his family. “These legs had muscle memories… they took me back to the home I grew up in,” Saroo said.

In early 2012, after 25 years of separation, he was finally reunited with his family.

Saroo had the Cocktail Hour audience captivated, using his story to inspire others in similar situations and those needing motivation to be bold in life.

“I create my own things and I am my own boss,” Saroo said. Nowadays, Saroo helps out with and fundraises for the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption.

Saroo now keeps in regular contact with his birth family.