Google Earth reunites Indian-born Australian with his long-lost Mother

The kind of turns life can take for the better or worse can be quite interesting. Saroo Brierley would surely see the change in his life as one that he couldn’t even dream of as a child. This tale is one that of a man’s journey from rural India as a 4-year old beggar to Australia as a successful businessman where he managed to locate his long-lost mother using Google Earth. The story is now set to be adapted in a movie.

Saroo Brierley

Brierley was 4 years of age when he ended up thousands of miles away from his city after jumping on a train where he was adopted by an Aussie couple as he wandered the streets as a beggar. Once he was taken to Tasmania, Brierley graduated from college and started his own business.  None of this made him forget his roots and he dedicated several hours to Google Earth in search of his mother until he found her.

Brierley remembers begging alongside his brother on trains as a child. He especially remembers the time they would sleep at the train station until Brierley found himself all by himself one day:

“I opened my eyes and couldn’t see my brother, but I saw a train in front of me with the door open and for some reason I thought he was on board. I ran over and jumped on the train just as the doors closed and it pulled out of the station, and it was only then that I realized he wasn’t there. I think you could say that split-second decision changed my life forever.”

young Saroo Brierley

Brierley was rescued off the streets and spent some time in an orphanage until he was adopted by an Australian couple and taken to Tasmania. He led a successful life as a businessman, but homesickness got the better of him as he spent hours over the Google Earth. He didn’t remember his home city or town by its name but he did remember the area around his place from his days there as a boy. The waterfalls and the dams he would visit with his brother had not escaped his memory.

Hours of struggle eventually paid off:

“Everything just started to match. So I traced a road back that I would follow back as a child, and before I knew it, I was looking at the suburb where I had grown up, and just on the right of it was the house I had grown up in. I couldn’t sleep for that whole night.”

Saroo Brierley with family

He set off on the journey to India with his adoptive mother but was left with a horrible feeling upon arriving and finding the small house in Khandwa locked. He thought that the worst had happened and that all his efforts were in vain. It seems like his share of luck had not run out just yet. A lady carrying a baby appeared from the house.

Saroo Brierley with mother

“My name is Saroo and these are my family members’ names,”Brierley said. He conversed with a few other members of the house before he was reunited with his mother. Brierley remembered her as one with a much shorter figure. He remembers the rather emotional reunion:

“She walked forward, and I walked forward, and my emotions and tears and the chemical in my brain, you know, it was like a nuclear fusion.”

Saroo Brierley book

Brierley’s odyssey has grabbed the attention of many. His book ‘A Long Way Home’ detailing all these events is now set to be turned into a movie called “Lion.” The Winston Co. has bought the rights for the film which will feature actor Dev Patel from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and actress Nicole Kidman.

Saroo Brierley with mother and adoptive mother


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