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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Cliche

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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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