Obviously, I have been out of touch with much mainstream news for a few years -- mostly by choice, mind -- but I am very glad to have come across the true story of Saroo Brierley at last. Some truly terrifying things happen to this little boy, inadvertently separated from his big brother at a train station deep in India and transported to the other side of the country, where -- at the age of five -- he manages somehow to survive long enough on the streets of one of the most unforgiving cities in the world, to be taken in by an orphanage and not long after adopted out to a loving couple in Australia. But Saroo remains, then and now, such a hopeful, grateful soul that although I was in tears for much of the book, it serves as a reminder, in these disturbing times, of how good people can be.
There is nothing about this story that is not amazing. Saroo's own determination, the Brierleys' love, his Indian family's warmth and especially his mother's generosity towards the Brierleys, Mrs. Sood's kindness and dedication to the orphans of Calcutta, even the unknown homeless man who pulled little Saroo out of the river not once but twice, and the unknown teen who cared enough to take Saroo to the police station (from where he eventually was taken to Mrs. Sood at the orphanage) -- all of these are evidence that there is good in this world even when you are lost. The outcome of the story is never in doubt, as we know from the start that the adult Saroo will find his home and family in India at last, but the simple, uncomplicated way that he tells it makes it all the more absorbing.
Here is the original Australian "60 Minutes" segment about Saroo's journey --