What surprised Saroo's Indian family about his current life in A Long Way Home?

Saroo’s Indian family was surprised by the fact that he was not married and did not have any children. Most people in his hometown of Khandwa, in Central India, start families at a younger age than people in Australia, where Saroo was raised by adoptive parents. It was a moment of reflection on how his upbringing shaped his perspective.

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When Saroo finally reaches Khandwa, his hometown in Central India, and reunites with his birth mother, Kamla, the family and the surrounding community are overwhelmed with emotion.

We learn that Kamla never believed him to be dead, even after discovering that his brother Guddu had died. She always prayed for Saroo's return and purposefully lived in the same neighborhood so that she would be easier for him to find.

It is a miracle for Saroo to have found his way back home, although it is clear that he is not the same little boy who went missing all those years ago. It is not the physical change that is a shock for this family. Saroo says that when he saw his mother, he immediately "knew the fine bone structure of her face the instant [he] looked back at her, and in that moment she seemed to know [him], too."

Interestingly, what surprises his Indian family the most about Saroo's new life is that he is unmarried and does not have any children. This highlights a major cultural difference between India and Tasmania, Australia, where Saroo was raised by the Brierley family. In Saroo's Indian community, it is common for people to marry at a young age, whereas in Australia people tend to start families later in life.

Although Saroo was born to an Indian family, his Australian upbringing is what shaped his worldview. He muses that if he had grown up in India, it is likely that he would have had a family by his age.

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