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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Cliche

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - DAY


  4. Waking up, PETER grabs his phone and looks down for new notifications.


  5. PETER (V.O.): "I want to make a difference in my life. After this present crisis of pandemic, where do I start?"


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): You really want to make a difference? But you're waiting for the pandemic to be over before starting? And you don't know where to start?


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) : "Make a difference" has become a cliche. It doesn't seem to be a strategic goal at all.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): People can't see opportunities in adversities and have no clue to do what they can and make something happen.


  12. Recalling.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Since the question is posed, let me be an accidental mentor to interested ones in the Quora platform.

  14. Act 2


  15. INT. STUDY - DAY


  16. A computer on his lap, Peter watches TV.


  17. PETER (V.O.): When I was a primary school student, our home didn't have a TV set and I only read Chinese newspapers that my parents read.


  18. Recalling.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My parents have never inspired me to make a difference. I recall while I was casually reading a newspaper article, one sentence struck me: one should live a splendid/gorgeous/dazzling life.


  20. Recalling.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I thought that shouldn't be bad. But how to achieve the goal?


  22. Recalling.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was about to graduate from my primary education, I learned that some classmates might have autograph books and would ask others for words of encouragement before parting.


  24. Recalling.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I reckoned that I had no words of wisdom. To prepare for that, I turned to study some idioms which should help.


  26. FLASHBACK


  27. INT. HOME - DAY (1966)


  28. Peter (12) is reading some books.


  29. PETER (V.O.): Here's a line: "The secret of success is constancy of purpose."


  30. Pausing.


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Sounds good. I can use this line when my classmates ask for my autograph.


  32. END FLASHBACK


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I was over prepared as no one approached me. I couldn't take the initiative, as I didn't have the money to buy an autograph book.


  34. Recalling.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Anyhow, the line stays with me.


  36. Recalling.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A splendid/gorgeous/dazzling life to me then was to become a rock star. And I maintained my constancy of purpose from 1966 until 1970.


  38. Recalling.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In Autumn,1968, I used the whole of my monthly salary of HK$30 as a private tutor to buy my first guitar - Made in China.


  40. Recalling.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Soon, I reckoned I didn't have the capacity and support to become a rock star, but I thought I would settle for a backstage guitar man.


  42. Pausing.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Although I was on stage in my school, I reckoned during my part-time working as a hotel waiter that even a backstage guitar man had to have good skills.


  44. Pausing.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Thus, just the constancy of purpose without the requisite capacity and support won't lead me to any splendid/gorgeous/dazzling life.


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): After my 1970 Christmas on-stage performance in school, I refocused on my studies to sit the public exams in summer, 1971.


  48. Pausing.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Recognizing the years that I had wasted, I squeezed the time in a couple of months to achieve my milestone objectives, wanting to do better in my poor academic performance.


  50. Reflecting.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): How I achieved my other medium and long term objectives thereafter was history. Like Doraemon, I've travelled back in time a bit.


  52. Act 3


  53. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So, the Quoran has to have an action plan to achieve short, medium and long term outcome.


  55. Peter types on his phone.


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Quoran shouldn't wait for the pandemic to be over. Just do what s/he can do now, as time is limited.


  57. Peter continues to type.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The gist is to capture/create and deliver whatever value the Quoran can, especially in times of adversity.


  59. Peter submits his answer.


  60. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - NIGHT


  61. Putting aside his phone, Peter lies down in bed.


  62. PETER (V.O.): Have I captured, created and delivered some value today? I believe I did. I won't waste any day.


  63. Pausing.


  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Making a difference like no other has been my discipline - not a cliche.


  65. Peter sleeps.


  66. THE END


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