Bhiwandi boy returns to India from USA after 20 years; Another Saroo Brierley in making?

Earlier this year, the journey of Saroo Brierley – was released in the form of a film titled Lion featuring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel. Saroo, who was born in India, was only five when he was separated from his family, but he finally found his hometown and his family after almost two decades of living in Australia as he was living there with his adoptive parents. Here, is the journey of yet another boy who returned to his hometown, Bhiwandi, in search of his family.
On August 4, 2017, at 7.56 pm, I walked into a backpackers hostel in Kurla to meet four guys – Chris Huth, Wyatt, Miles and Jack Eblen.

I met them for the first time about ten days ago – the very day when Chris and Miles got into an autorickshaw accident that left Chris with hand injuries enough to be drugged out the entire time I was there.

Chris, short for Christopher Praveen Huth, was born in India, adopted by the Huths in Lovettsville, Virginia – located on the periphery of Washington DC. That was about 20 years ago, today Chirs is 27-years-old. His story is strikingly similar to that of Saroo Brierley.

In July, Chris, along with his childhood friend Wyatt and his brothers took a trip to India to try and find Chris’ older sister Asha. Asha had run away from the orphanage in Tandur, on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh called John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home, where Chirs and Asha’s biological mother left them.

The picture of Chris' biological sister Asha, who he is on the look out for.

According to what Chris remembers, “(Asha and he) were brought to the orphanage after a long train journey that lasted roughly half a day.” Once in the orphanage, Chris, who was until then called Sai, was renamed by the orphanage as Praveen Kumar. “The orphanage said that Chris was a child who was abandoned and was found outside the orphanage gate, asking for some food to eat,” recalls Wyatt from one of the many conversations he has had with Chris about his childhood.

But what prompted Chris to find out more about Asha and why did he arrive after 20 long years? Chris says that although he always thought about Asha and wanted to find his other family members, his mom and his older brothers Deepak and Sagar, it was only after he met with Devi Eskrigde that he had “someone to back up my memory that it was all true” and not just a figment of imagination that morphed into the memories of his childhood.

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Devi is yet another girl who was adopted from India. She had returned to Andhra Pradesh, in search of her family whom she eventually found. She then received the contact details of other kids from the same orphanage who were adopted from the orphanage owner’s daughter Pinky who too resided in the US. And that was that.

Although Saroo and Devi found their happy endings, Chris is yet to get his. He is still on the look out for information about his biological sister Asha and other family members.

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Lion: Saroo Brierley’s next book to be a prequel to A Long Way Home

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