A great-grandmother has been reunited with her long-lost brother after being split up 60 years ago – to find out he is one of the richest men in the world.
Ida Wilde, 83, never thought she would see her adopted brother Asgar Patel after he was forced to leave her Glasgow home and return to India.
Mrs Wilde’s aunt looked after him during India’s turbulent Partition period in 1947 and the young pair grew very close.
After leaving the adopted family in Scotland, Mr Patel, now 78, returned to his homeland and built up one of the largest logistic companies in India.
Ida Wilde (circled left) was separated from her long-lost adopted brother Asgar Patel (circled right) 60 years ago when he was forced to return to India from their home in Glasgow
His successful career catapulted him into a six-figure salary and he is now a multi-millionaire and number 45 on Forbes’ list of top 100 Indian business owners 2017.
His company Patel Roadways operates across the Middle East, India and beyond and in 2013 the website estimated his personal net worth at $615million (£467.5million).
Mrs Wilde, of Irvine on Scotland’s west coast, told the Daily Record: ‘We were heartbroken when he left.
‘For five years we had been brought up as brother and sister and it was sad to lose him.
‘We kept in touch for a while but we moved around and so did his family. I often wondered where he ended up.
After he found her in a family wedding photo online, Mr Patel, 78, (pictured) sent his long-lost adopted sister a message on Facebook and the pair were reunited in August. Mrs Wilde, 83, was shocked to find is one of the world’s richest men and a multi-millionaire businessman
Mrs Wilde (pictured) could not believe it when she got a message from her long-lost adopted brother out of the blue on Facebook
‘It turns out he’d spent years searching for his adopted Scottish family but we moved out of Glasgow and he couldn’t find us.’
The division of India and Pakistan displaced more than 10million people, and led to as many as a million deaths.
At the time Mr Asgar’s father was also a wealthy businessman who was concerned for his family’s safety and wanted his children to seek refuge in the UK.
Mrs Wilde’s great aunt took Mr Asgar in after he turned up on her boarding school’s doorstep completely terrified with three other children who had fled India during Partition.
She was contacted by two former lodgers to see if she could provide a safe haven for four of their friend’s children: Ramzan, Atabr, Kulsom, and Asgar.
But after a while the elderly woman could not cope with all four youngsters and Mrs Wilde’s mother stepped in to save the day.
Six-year-old Asgar became a part of Mrs Wilde’s family along with his older sister Kuslom, 12.
The adopted siblings are pictured during their emotional reunion after 60 years in August
She said: ‘When they came at first we thought, ‘how can any mum and dad send four kids like this to Scotland?’
‘But you could see it a bit more when you saw all the horrible things that were happening in India and Pakistan.
‘Kulsom got homesick and wanted to go home, but Asgar would have lived here forever. He quickly became part of the family.
‘We had a little dog call
ed Sparkie and he loved playing with him. We also went on trips to the seaside and he loved seeing new places.
‘It was great having them to stay and they were happy kids.’
Mr Patel and Mrs Wilde were inseparable for the five years they spent together, until the heart-breaking news came that he had to go home.
She added: ‘He did call my parents mum and dad to begin with but that was quite embarrassing lots of times, and my mum said to him: ‘Look, Asgar, you’ve got your own mum and she won’t be pleased so you better call us aunt and uncle.’
Patel Roadways workers pictured with trucks in India. The business is part of a wider group operating across India and the Middle East and is now worth millions
‘When his mum came over to visit he forgot how to speak Urdu and she couldn’t speak English, so they just waved at each other.
‘She obviously missed her son and Asgar was happy to see his parents too.
‘But a lot of time had passed and he’d settled into a new life, so it must have been quite difficult for his mum to see.
‘Although he loved his parents very much when it was time for him to return home he didn’t want go. He wanted to stay with us.
‘It wasn’t an easy decision, but we knew he had to leave to be with his own family.’
Saying goodbye to her adopted brother at the train station in Glasgow was ‘heartbreaking’ and although they exchanged Christmas cards, the pair eventually lost touch.
But sixty years later Mr Patel decided to message Mrs Wilde on Facebook on the chance it was actually her and she might even reply.
Mr Patel had managed to track her down after he recognised her in a family wedding photo online.
To his delight, it was his long-lost adopted sister and the pair were reunited in August.
Mr Patel (pictured) turned up in Glasgow 60 years ago during the mass migration from the sub-continent to Britain as a result of Partition. He was terrified when he knocked on Mrs Wilde’s great aunt’s door. She took him in but later gave him to her mother to look after. Mrs Wilde and Mr Patel were thick as thieves for five years, until he was told he had to go home
She said: ‘The picture was put online and I got a message on my iPad asking ‘are you Ida Moreland?’ which was my maiden name.
‘It was great to hear from him and I was surprised by how much he remembered.
‘He asked if I remembered us all going to Ayr on holiday and away to Tighnabruaich. It was like we’d never been apart.
‘It wasn’t strange or awkward and we chatted away like two old pals. He was so happy to finally find his Scottish family again.
‘Asgar thought he would never find me until the photo went online. It’s amazing he made the connection and I’m so glad he got in touch.
‘I’d said goodbye to a wee boy and now he was returning a hugely successful multi-millionaire. It was surreal.
‘I just couldn’t believe it. He’s done so well for himself and he’s still such a genuine and lovely person.
‘We chatted away for ages and he told me all about his family. He wants to fly me to Dubai to meet them and he’s coming back to visit again next year.
‘We keep it touch now and it’s just wonderful to have Asgar back in my life after so many years apart.’
After the emotional reunion Mr Patel wants to fly his long-lost sister out to Dubai to meet his family in the new year.
On his company’s website, Patel Roadways is described as follows: ‘Nearly half a century after his father Shakoor Hasham Patel left Gujarat to start a successful cap manufacturing business in Mumbai, his son Asgar Shakoor Patel with the same thirst for success and passion for hard work made a pivotal journey of his own.
‘He returned from the United Kingdom with the certainty that he wasn’t going to join his father’s business, instead make his own roads.
‘From a Salesman to a Stenographer to a Secretary, he went on to transporting his first consignment for Glaxo in 1959. This was the dawn of Patel Roadways Limited.
‘A zest for success and a clear-cut vision drove Asgar Patel to transform Patel Roadways into one of the largest logistics companies in Asia with 1000 delivery outlets and complimented by a workforce of over 7,500 people.’
After leaving India Mr Patel (pictured) started up one of the country’s biggest logistics companies and made millions, he is now on Forbes’ top 100 Indian businessmen of 2017