She Grew Up With a Chinese Sister in India, Now She’s Desperate to Find Her Again
By Ernestine Siu
May 11, 2020
Meenal Patil, a radio personality for Radio One, is on a quest to fulfill a promise she made to her late mother to find her long-lost Chinese sister, Chingu.
On Mother’s Day, May 10, Meenal posted an Instagram video compilation of heartwarming images of Chingu, whose real name is Ling Yi, and her family. She narrated the video, telling the story of how Chingu became a part of their lives.
Meenal’s mother started a daycare in their home as a way to make ends meet. Chingu was two months old when her parents began to drop her off at the Patil’s home from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, including the weekends. “My mom ran a day care center at our home and her parents used to leave her with us everyday for babysitting her,” Meenal told NextShark.
Meenal also revealed that Chingu’s parents “ran a Chinese restaurant and then a spa in Dubai and they had really long hours at work, and my mom happily looked after Chingu.”
There would be times where Chingu would stay with the family for weeks on end. She lived with the Patils for eight years, and in the last two years, Chingu’s parents were too “busy to look after her,” Meenal narrated, so they “happily accepted the offer for her to spend her days with us,” she added.
The family took her in, teaching her about their culture and language, dressing her up in fancy attire, and feeding Chingu her favorite meals after school. Chingu even took her first steps in their home.
“We spent our days just loving and adoring this Chinese baby that had made a place in our hearts,” Meenal narrated.
The Patils raised Chingu, but one day, the 8-year-old’s mother, who they called Mrs. Gu, sent her back to China. Unbeknownst to her, Meenal’s mom waited for days to see Chingu again. Meenal was around 17 at the time, she told NextShark.
Three days passed without any word from Chingu. It was only when Meenal’s mom called Chingu’s mom that she heard the sad news: the girl wouldn’t be returning.
“I think our hearts were shattered. My mom was broken after that and never got back to normal, I feel,” Meenal said. “Ever since then, my mom has been telling me to look for her.”
“Until her dying day, my mom said ‘look for Chingu and tell her I still think of her’, so here it is,” Meenal narrated.
Around the same time that Chingu left their lives, Meenal’s mother was diagnosed with a BP (blood pressure) problem and diabetes.
“It was a huge loss to my mom, almost like she lost a child,” she wrote, adding “I don’t think she ever got out of the trauma of losing Chingu.”
Meenal’s mother passed away before she got to witness her daughter’s efforts to locate Chingu.
Meenal wrote in her Facebook post, “I’d look for this girl, who was a piece of (mom’s) heart.. I just wish I had done it earlier!”
Meenal shared these videos to “#findchingu just to let her know we think of her often and her ‘Maa’ is definitely looking down from up above and making sure she’s ok!”
Feature Images via @meenalvpatil
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