A Long Way Home

by

Saroo Brierley

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Kallu Character Analysis

Kallu is one of Saroo’s brothers; he’s a few years older than Saroo. He and Guddu often ride trains to neighboring towns to work, and Kallu takes on the role of caretaker for Guddu, making sure that they have something to eat and a place to sleep when Guddu is done working. Though Saroo and Guddu’s disappearance is devastating for Kallu, it also affords him the opportunity to attend school, as Kamla is able to pay for two children to attend (whereas she couldn’t afford to send four). When Saroo reconnects with Kallu, Kallu is married with two sons and works two jobs. He has done much better than Kamla economically speaking, though he did move away from Khandwa to escape the negative emotional effects of suddenly being responsible for caring for his birth family after Guddu’s death.
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Kallu Character Timeline in A Long Way Home

The timeline below shows where the character Kallu appears in A Long Way Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Family Theme Icon
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
...Saroo points to the abandoned house and lists the people who lived there: Kamla, Guddu, Kallu, Shekila. He points to himself and says his name. The woman is silent until Saroo... (full context)
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Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...recites the names of his family members: his birth mother, Kamla; his brothers, Guddu and Kallu, and his sister, Shekila. In English, the man asks how he can help, and Saroo... (full context)
2. Getting Lost
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
...he is four years old to see his father’s new baby. Kamla gets Shekila, Saroo, Kallu, and Guddu up and dressed early to take a day-long journey by bus and on... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...until a man appears with a razor blade. Fortunately, the procedure is over in seconds. Kallu is circumcised next, but not Guddu. The neighborhood feasts that evening, but Kallu and Saroo... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...bring home, and Saroo loves her cooking. He feels hungry most of the time. He, Kallu, and Guddu become increasingly more creative about obtaining food as time goes on, knocking fruit... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...He speaks poorly as a result. As Saroo and his brothers get older, Guddu and Kallu begin spending more time away from “Ginestlay.” Saroo spends time with Baba, who he thinks... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
With Guddu and Kallu spending more time away, Saroo becomes very close to Shekila. Saroo becomes her primary caregiver... (full context)
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Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
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At fourteen and twelve, Guddu and Kallu spend most of their time away, often at a town a few stops down the... (full context)
10. Meeting My Mother
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Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...When they get inside, Kamla pulls out a cell phone and Saroo hears her calling Kallu and Shekila. She refers to Saroo as Sheru, and Saroo realizes he may have been... (full context)
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
...Saroo recognizes that she has to work hard for this house. A little while later, Kallu and Shekila arrive. Shekila bursts into tears upon seeing Saroo, and Kallu is stunned. Finally,... (full context)
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
...Kamla to identify. He’d fallen off a moving train. Saroo is even more devastated when Kallu explains that though Guddu was buried in a cemetery, builders later built right over the... (full context)
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Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Late in the evening, Saroo decides that he needs to go back to the hotel. Kallu takes Saroo on his motorbike and then heads to his home in Burhanpur. Saroo thinks... (full context)
11. Reconnection
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Kallu picks Saroo up the next morning and takes him back to Kamla’s house. There, Saroo... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
...with Guddu and Saroo gone, Kamla had been able to afford to send Shekila and Kallu to school. Shekila is now a schoolteacher who can speak and write both Hindi and... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Life hasn’t been easy for Kallu, however. Following Guddu’s death, he was shouldered with the burden of being the only man... (full context)
12. Reaching Out
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Shekila and Kallu join Saroo and Kamla, and Kamla makes her children sit in plastic chairs while she... (full context)
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Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...surrounding his story, he just has to accept them. For example, it turned out that Kallu and Shekila's fond memories of bathing together were the same memories that Saroo turned over... (full context)
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Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
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...marry and have children before she dies so he'll have someone to care for him. Kallu and Shekila express interest in visiting Australia to see where Saroo was raised and to... (full context)
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...Saroo explains to the reader that he wants to do the exact opposite. Saroo, Shekila, Kallu, and Kamla discuss how Saroo might help support Kamla in particular, as well as the... (full context)
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Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Finally, the subject of Saroo’s birth father comes up. Kallu and Shekila are unforgiving of him, and they also blame him for Guddu’s death. Though... (full context)
Epilogue
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...in India, so he’s looking to buy her a better home in Ganesh Talai. He, Kallu, and Shekila have found a place, but the paperwork takes time. Saroo says he’s also... (full context)
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Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...two identities, though visiting India has certainly enriched his life. He admires the importance that Kallu and Shekila place on family, and he wonders if Westerners have lost something through the... (full context)