During a group meeting at school in Melbourne, Saroo is asked where he is from and responds that he is from Calcutta. When another member asks where exactly, Saroo cannot answer as he does not know, and responds that he's not really Indian. This encounter sets up the question of who Saroo "really" is and where he is from, which is something that he will set to work trying to figure out for the remainder of the film.
"I had another family. A mother. A brother. I can still see their faces"
Saroo says this to Lucy, his girlfriend, when he realizes that he had a whole life in India that he barely remembers.
"What if you do find home and they're not even there? Then you just keep searching?"
Lucy asks Saroo this as a hypothetical question to try and understand what exactly he is trying to figure out about his past.
"Hi, mum. I know you will be sound asleep. I just want to say that I'm safe. Safe and all the questions have been answered. There are no more dead ends. I found my mother, and... she thanks you both for raising me. She understands that you are my family. She's... happy, just knowing I'm alive. I found her, but that doesn't change who you are. I love you mom... so much. And you, Dad. And Mantosh. Saroo!"
This is the message that Saroo leaves on Sue and John's answering machine after he finds his biological mother. He communicates to them that, even though it is extremely important that he has found his biological mother, he thinks of them as his parents, since they raised him, and there is no complication in that arrangement. Here, Saroo articulates his gratitude to his adoptive parents.
"We chose not to have kids. We wanted the two of you. That's what we wanted. We wanted the two of you in our lives.That's what we chose. That's one of the reasons I fell in love with your dad. Because we both felt as if... the world has enough people in it. Have a child, couldn't guarantee it will make anything better. But to take a child that's suffering like you boys were. Give you a chance in the world. That's something."
When Saroo becomes discouraged in his search for his family, he talks to Sue about the fact that it must have been difficult raising two children who were not really her own. She tells him that this is not the case at all, that she and John chose to adopt even though they could have had children.
"Please could you not do anything while I'm away to make mum more unhappy than you already do?"
Saroo says this to his troubled adoptive brother, Mantosh, on the eve of his departure for college. He tells Mantosh not to upset their mother while he is away at college, and rather scornfully suggests that Mantosh only makes their mother unhappy.
"You weren't just adopting us but our past as well. I feel like we're killing you."
Saroo says this to Sue, expressing his guilt at how he and Mantosh have made her life harder. He thinks of them both as burdens, Indian children with troubled pasts that have made Sue miserable.
“I want to run a hotel so that I can put all the profits in my pocket.”
At college in Melbourne, Saroo proves to be rather cocky in one of his classes. He brags that he is going into the hotel business exclusively to make money, and the other students laugh at his playful arrogance.
“Saroo, I really hope she’s there. She needs to see how beautiful you are.”
After Saroo tells Sue his plans to find his birth mother, she says this, a blessing for his journey and an affirmation of who he is.
"You've come a long way, haven't you, little one?"
Sue says this to the young Saroo when they first meet. She notes that he has come from very far, and shows her sensitivity to the intensity of his experience.
Lion (2016 Film) Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Lion (2016 Film) is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.