A Long Way Home

by

Saroo Brierley

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Saroo’s Birth Father Character Analysis

Saroo’s birth father is a Muslim man, and unnamed in the book. He’s mostly absent for Saroo’s childhood because when Kamla was pregnant with Shekila, he decided to take a second wife. He was always very violent towards Kamla. Despite being physically separated, Kamla remains married legally to Saroo’s birth father throughout her life. When Saroo reconnects with his birth family, Saroo learns that his father lives several hours away from Khandwa, and his family has not forgiven him for abandoning them. Despite this, Saroo does express interest in meeting his father, and his father is apparently angry when he discovers that Saroo has reconnected with his mother and siblings but not him. As of the end of the memoir, Saroo and his father haven’t yet met.

Saroo’s Birth Father Quotes in A Long Way Home

The A Long Way Home quotes below are all either spoken by Saroo’s Birth Father or refer to Saroo’s Birth Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Long Way Home published in 2013.
2. Getting Lost Quotes

This episode stayed with me as an example of my mother's courage in turning to face down her pursuers, and also of the vulnerability of the poor in India. Really, it was just luck that the crowds backed off.

Related Characters: Saroo Brierley (speaker), Kamla, Saroo’s Birth Father
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Long Way Home LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Long Way Home PDF

Saroo’s Birth Father Character Timeline in A Long Way Home

The timeline below shows where the character Saroo’s Birth Father appears in A Long Way Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Getting Lost
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
...drink milk. These are happy times in Saroo’s memories. Kamla is a Hindu, while his birth father is a Muslim. His father is often absent, and when he is around, he’s very... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Saroo is too young to understand his parents’ separation. His only vivid memory of his birth father is visiting when he is four years old to see his father’s new baby. Kamla... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Later that same morning, Saroo watches his birth father approach and realizes he’s chasing Kamla. She finally spins around to confront him. As they... (full context)
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
After Saroo’s birth father leaves, Kamla moves her children to the Muslim side of town. Saroo remembers no religious... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...spends time with Baba, who he thinks of as more of a father than his birth father . They fish together, and Baba sometimes feeds Saroo and talks to him about the... (full context)
10. Meeting My Mother
Family Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Saroo also learns about his birth father : he now lives in Bhopal, a few hundred kilometers away, and the family hates... (full context)
11. Reconnection
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...Hindu for “lion.” He learns that Kamla’s family is of a warrior caste, while his birth father was a building contractor. Kamla explains that when she was pregnant with Shekila, Saroo’s birth... (full context)
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...She formally converted to Islam after Saroo disappeared. Saroo begins to consider seeking out his birth father , feeling as though his father is part of his past even though he saw... (full context)
12. Reaching Out
Family Theme Icon
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... (full context)