Saturday, February 09, 2019

Lion

Recently at the suggestion of maytrees min I watched the film "Lion" which she and mrs maytrees had seen two years ago,

The film proved to be absorbing. Lion was about a small 5 year old boy in India, who with his older brother went out for the day to scavenge for their poor mother and family. The two boys initially lay on top of coal on a coal train passing nearby their small village. They were spotted by the train guards so left the coal  train and arrived at a large passenger railway station. There the 5 year old boy Saroo was tired out and refused to move from the station bench he was resting on despite his older brother's entreaties.

Eventually the older brother after instructing Saroo to wait for him on the bench went off to find scavenging work.

After most of the day had passed Saroo became anxious but when his older brother failed to return he decided to take shelter in a nearby empty passenger train. Unbeknown to him the train was scheduled to be driven 1600 km or so to another part of India to be scrapped.

Unfortunately after he had made himself comfortable resting on a seat in one of the empty carriages, the train doors were locked and Saroo's long journey began.

Eventually after reaching  Calcutta Station he managed to escape but then began a number of frightening episodes which he survived before being placed into a large orphanage. The orphanage itself had many dangers including those of child abuse,  which Saroo managed to avoid.

All attempts to find his family failed partly I suspect because Saroo could not properly remember the name of the town of his home or even his mother's full name. He was then put up for adoption. 

A couple from Tasmnia who spoke no Hindu but only English adopted him and and took him to Tasmania.  The trials tribulations and successes that affected him and indeed a more difficult fellow Indian who the family also adopted, were remarkable. He went to catering college for a while, met a girl there and fell in love.

He began to fret about his own background following some hazy memories; sadly dropped out of College, left home, rented a flat  and  pinned up on a wall in the flat an huge map showing possible villages 1600km around Calcutta which might have been his childhood family residence.

All the while his Tasmanian parents and girlfriend remained loyal to him. 

(Spoiler below so avoid reading for those who are to view the film)

Eventually Saroo had his eureka moment and identified the village. He returned there and found his mother and learned from her and his sister that his older brother had been killed by a passing train  all those years ago, whilst he  Saroo was sleeping on the station bench. 

His Tasmanian parents later came over to meet his birth mother and family, with those scenes being beautifully acted.

An absorbing true story.

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