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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Life Is Like A Hotpot


FADE IN:

INT. STUDY - DAY

PETER answers a call.

PETER

(Over the phone)

I've to decline the two-day

hearing brief, commencing

on Nov. 15. It's my daughter's

graduation ceremony.

INT. CORRIDOR/SLEEPING ROOM - DAY

Peter's DAUGHTER (22) resembles Peter and dresses nicely, knocks at the door. Peter and his WIFE are still in bed.

DAUGHTER

We've to go in 15 minutes!

They rise instantly.

INT. LECTURE THEATRE - DAY

Peter and his wife are among the audience. We see on a big screen a congregation proceeding.

The VICE-CHANCELLOR spoke in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

PETER (V.O.)

Telling short stories multi-lingually

is customer-friendly.

EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - DAY

Crowded with roped youngsters. Peter and Peter's wife meet up with their waiting daughter.

WIFE

We couldn't catch a glimpse of

you!

DAUGHTER

Naturally. I'm just one among the

many. There's another ceremony

in my College.

Their daughter leads them to a College.

PETER (V.O.)

I used to drive her here when

she was a first-year under-

graduate. When was that? Yes,

just months after my retirement.

They arrive at the College entrance.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Now, she's graduated and is

working full-time. I've retired

over four years. Am I done?

INT. COLLEGE THEATRE - DAY

Peter and his wife sit in the crowded dress circle. We see roped personnel sitting on stage only. A GENTLEMAN (50s) speaks at the podium.

GENTLEMAN

My Chinese isn't very good.

But I 'd speak in Chinese in

this University...

PETER (V.O.)

Sounds like any Hongkonger.

GENTLEMAN

...Life is a like a box of chocolates

...you never know what you're

gonna get...

PETER (V.O.)

When the Gump film was released

the graduates weren't born yet...

Pausing.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

If they get a box of chocolates, they

know they get chocolates.

FLASHBACK

EXT. HKU CAMPUS - DAY (1981)

Peter (27) talks to SOMEONE (19).

PETER

I'm a freshman... a mature

student... I'm already 27.

SOMEONE takes a deep look at Peter.

RETURN TO PRESENT

We see Peter and Peter's wife focusing their lens on activities near the stage down below.

Upon hearing a PRESENTER announcing "Cheung Ying", they put their cameras in action.

Conferment of degrees ends. We see and hear a roped GRADUATE speaking on stage.

PETER (V.O.)

She talks loosely, not knowing

what to share... Her emotions

overcome her logic. She's not

mature yet.

INT. DINNING ROOM - NIGHT

Peter's family talks over a Chinese hotpot meal.

PETER

(to Daughter)

How did you find the speech

of the gentleman at the

College ceremony?

DAUGHTER

Nothing special.

PETER (V.O.)

I'm not surprised.

Looking at raw food put on the table, Peter picks up a piece of raw beef with chopsticks and dips it into the hotpot.

PETER (V.O.)

Life is like a hotpot. If you

didn't put anything into it,

you won't know what you're

gonna get.

Pausing.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

But if you put raw beef into

a hotpot and keep it under

control, you'll know what

you're gonna get - from rare

to well done.

Pausing again.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Our future is basically in our

own hands. I can testify to

that. And, I'm not done yet!

Having done the beef medium-rare, Peter looks pleased and eats it.

FADE OUT. The End

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