SAROO’S AMAZING JOURNEY
SAROO Brierley is no stranger to travel .His astonishing life story is taking the world by storm after a successful book A Long Way Home and now multiple award-nominated film Lion, which chronicles his separation from his family during a 1600km journey by train as a five-year-old from his home town in India, east to Calcutta where he lived on the streets.
Then there was the almost 10,000km to Tasmania after he was adopted by Sue and John Brierley, and the thousands of kilometres more throughout Australia promoting the book and film.
Of course, there are also the 15 trips back to India to visit his birth mother after he tracked her down in 2008 using Google Earth and vivid memories of his old home.
In Perth, where adoptive mother Sue and Saroo answered questions at sold-out preview sessions, he told Community Newspaper Group it was just the beginning for him.
“For me this is just the start,” he said. “I have so much on at the moment.
“It’s all preliminary at the moment, but I’m writing a prequel book.”
For Mrs Brierley, touring Australia is an opportunity to get people thinking about adoption.
“Adoption got to a point that it was more common in the 1980s than it is today,” she said. “I think there were only four children adopted into WA last year, it has just virtually ground to a halt.
“And that’s part of the motivation for me to go on this tour because Australia needs to start thinking about adoption again.
“It’s too easy to get bogged down in other issues of the time. We need to talk less about Trump and more about adoption for kids who need a family.”
Mrs Brierley said the film-making experience did offer her the opportunity to spend time with big names and witness a former US president cry.
“We went to New York for the US premiere of the film and the people were lovely,” she said. “They wanted to know about it, they were fascinated by the story and eager to see it.
“When we saw the screening, we had Bill Clinton sitting behind us with executive producer Harvey Weinstein and they were both sniffling away.”
While Saroo will continue to be in the spotlight with upcoming opportunities, his adoptive parent is looking forward to getting back to a “normal” life.
Lion is in cinemas now.
Sue and Saroo Brierley, whose life story has been turned into the film Lion.