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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Heart & Soul

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY ROOM - SUNDAY


  4. PETER sees a phone message.


  5. PETER (V.O.): A friend has just sent me Chinese New Year greetings. Let me first thank him.


  6. After typing on his phone, Peter is in thoughts.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've written a number of songs for the Chinese New Year. Can I do something creative this year?

  8. INT. DINING ROOM - SUNDAY NIGHT


  9. The FAMILY is having dinner.


  10. SON: Are we going to have the usual Chinese New Year's Eve dinner?


  11. PETER: Not this year...


  12. SON: Not even at home?


  13. WIFE: A very ordinary one, as it's a work day.


  14. Act 2


  15. INT. STUDY - MONDAY MORNING

  16. Phone in hand, Peter reads a Quora answer request.


  17. PETER (V.O.): The question is: How do you go about living the kind of life that keeps your heart and soul awake every day?


  18. Peter selects a photo featuring guitar amplifiers and speakers.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While they might not generate sounds from heaven, they've the capacity to keep people awake.


  20. Peter smiles.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me share the knowhow straight.


  22. We see Peter typing on his phone: Make the well-being of oneself and the world a priority and you will have the enthusiasm and energy to create and deliver value daily.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's how I feel about it.


  24. Peter taps a Submit icon.


  25. EXT. ROADS - LATER


  26. Driving a car, Peter listens to the radio. We hear someone reciting something in Mandarin.


  27. PETER (V.O.): This "Little Orange Lantern"(小橘燈)was a literary work by Bing Xin (冰心). When I was in primary school, I studied her "Letters To the Little Reader"(寄小讀者).


  28. Listening.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the story, the little girl was happy that she and her Mom would have Yam porridge (红薯稀飯) as their New Year‘s Eve dinner.


  30. FLASHBACK


  31. INT. KITCHEN - DAY (1964)


  32. Peter (10) and his GRANDMA (64) are having plain porridge.


  33. END FLASHBACK


  34. Recalling.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My grandma often cooked plain porridge to fill our stomachs. We like to add lard oil and soy sauce into the plain porridge.


  36. Listening.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the story, the author, Bing Xin, brought them some oranges. The little girl peeled off the biggest one and put the slices near to her sick and sleeping Mom.


  38. Listening.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was dark when the author was about to leave. The little girl worked on the bowl-shaped orange peel with a big needle and a thread, took a stub of a candle at the windowsill, placed it inside the orange-peel basket with a little stick, and lit it.


  40. Recalling.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the early 1960s, I made similar lanterns with Pomelo to have fun during the Mid-Autumn Festivals.


  42. Listening.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): "And let this little orange lantern light the way for you..." That's what the little girl says in the story.


  44. Thinking.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What now lights the way for everyone?


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is purpose the reason of our life journey? Is passion the fire that lights our way?


  48. Pausing.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Or is it simply love?


  50. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  51. Thinking.


  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having heard Bing Xin's little story, my feeling is mixed.


  53. Pausing.


  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I feel very young as if I was a little reader again and very old as I've actually experienced a lot since then.


  55. Act 3


  56. INT. STUDY - CONTINOUS


  57. Thinking.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A scientific explanation is that there's only space and motion. The so-called past, present and future are illusively linear and are in the same space-time dimension.


  59. Pausing.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When an uplifting story is well told, it wins heart and soul. The audience is more likely to absorb the message than just to present the message in so many words.


  61. Peter see new phone notifications.


  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Incidentally, I did write little stories. A landlord and tenant story I wrote and published in Quora on Dec 3, 2020 has attracted 4.6 million views so far.


  63. Pausing.


  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Should I use this short screenplay to reciprocate those who send me Chinese New Year Greetings 2021?


  65. FADE OUT.


  66. THE END


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