A Long Way Home

by

Saroo Brierley

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Long Way Home can help.

A Long Way Home: Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The television program 60 Minutes proposes introducing Kamla and Mum on camera as part of a piece on Saroo’s experiences. Saroo wonders if Mum might feel threatened meeting Kamla, or if Kamla might find it impossible to connect with Mum. However, Saroo feels that time stands still as his mothers embrace, tears in their eyes. The joy and love don’t require much translation.
The overwhelming happiness of Mum and Kamla's meeting shows that familial ties can absolutely extend to people not thought possible at first. The kindness that both women showed Saroo means that they're a part of each other's lives now, illustrating the connecting power of love.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Saroo explains that he does what he can to help Kamla, including paying her rent and buying food. Now, he has dual citizenship and can buy property 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 dedicating time to helping Mrs. Sood. He’s providing money for repairs on the Nava Jeevan orphanage, and he wants to help other children who might be in a situation like he was.
Saroo sees it as his responsibility to do what he can to support those people and organizations that supported him and made his current life possible. By doing this, Saroo indirectly helps to make sure that other children who become lost and find their way to Nava Jeevan might have a better chance of finding their birth families than he did.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Saroo says that his desires for himself are less clear. He still thinks of himself as Australian; he just wanted to know where he came from, better understand his past, and let his family know he’s okay. He insists that finding his family in India has simply given him two families, not 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 Western focus on individualism. He says that he’s not religious, but he’s interested in exploring some of his Indian family’s beliefs and seeing if they help him at all. Saroo is also happy to help his niece and nephews have a better life.
Here, Saroo shows that the experience of reconnecting with his birth family has done nothing but positive things for him. This stands as a testament to the power of family, as Saroo is able to feel so at peace in part because he now has a much larger (and therefore, more supportive) network of family members in his life. His desire to research his childhood religious beliefs also shows that he's willing to see if a divine sense of destiny might help him make more sense of his story.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Saroo says that had he not gotten lost, his life would certainly be very different. However, he believes that his experiences have provided him with amazing faith in the importance of family, a belief in the goodness of people, and the importance of taking opportunities. He feels as though there’s certainly an element of destiny in how things played out. He knows too that Mum and Dad wouldn’t wish that their lives had gone any differently, and he explains that he’s extremely grateful for all they’ve done. Saroo’s success has also inspired Mantosh to search for his birth mother.
Saroo's insistence that destiny did play a role in how his life played out shows that he has integrated some of Kamla's beliefs into his own initial sense that his life is what it is thanks to chance and luck. Now, it makes more sense for him to believe that there was more at play. Again, this doesn't mean that one belief system is better than the other; it just means that his needs are changing in regard to how he tells his story.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Get the entire A Long Way Home LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Long Way Home PDF
Saroo thinks back on his process of discovering Khandwa via Google Earth. He realizes he could’ve done things differently and found what he was looking for much faster, but he understands that he did the best he knew how at the time. He thinks he has no regrets about how things transpired, except for Guddu’s death, and he’s constantly shocked by the fortuitous twists, turns, and coincidences that led him to the Brierleys and then back to Kamla. He believes everything was meant to happen just as it did.
Though Saroo doesn't mention other children here, his conclusion does point to the fact that what happened to him was fortuitous and out of the ordinary—many other children do not experience such positive twists of fate. This again reinforces that while his story is intended to inspire hope in others, it's not intended to be taken as a sweeping generalization about lost children in India.
Themes
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Related Quotes