He was an undergraduate at Wellington University sharing a flat with Mohammad, an Indian Muslim from Fiji. Mohammad introduced him to Hindi songs and even taught him how to make chicken curry.
She was also fed on a diet of Hindi songs by her mother who was addicted to Malay and Hindustani movies. Uncle Joe Nee (Tan Joe Nee), our Peranakan neighbour was the official advertiser for Hindi movies. He would yell to my mother from across the river, "Kak, 'tu cherita 'Janglee' bagus - lagu2 nya semua sedap. Pi tenguklah 'kak". ( Sis, You should see that movie 'Janglee' - very nice songs).
This he and she met in Leicester in 1981. She was on a 3-months' holiday-cum-study leave and decided to look up her former tutor from Singapore University days. He was a helpful tutor, quite sweet and kind but he certainly was no Dev Anand (my heart-throb) or Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor.
He showed her his collection of Hindi records - hundreds of them. Some men would take their lady visitors to a cinema or a meal in a restaurant. But this lucky woman got a real treat because he brought her to his favourite Hindi record shop where he would spend about an hour picking out his favourite album. He would leave the shop with about 3 or so albums tucked under his arm - looking as pleased as Punch - and the shopkeeper beaming with joy - you could see the £-sign in his eyes.
The same shop today. Still selling pan but no more records.
She tagged along because this was just a pit stop before she embarked on her great adventure - a solo driving holiday through Wales. Also he cooks beautiful chicken curry. One evening, for after-curry-dinner entertainment ( he only had a 10 inch black and white TV with a very unreliable indoor aerial), he put on a concert of his Hindi records. This was one of them.
You neither know me, Nor I know you.
But it seems I have got a friend (Rough translation) They don't write songs like these anymore!!
That was it!! She was completely beguiled and he was absolutely captivated because they discovered they were in love - with the same song. Dev met his Waheeda and vice-versa. The rest is history.
Now and then these two would get slightly loopy in the park, but especially in Spring. They would act out scenes from Hindi movies where the heroine is running from tree to tree to tease her hero.
If you're lucky, one of these Sundays, take a walk in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa and you might spot them acting out their dream life.
MERA DHIL, MERA ZINDHAGI
Post Script : He still cooks the best chicken curry.