The Awakening

Sonny Ramsingh was an only child born of Indian parents who came from India as indentured labourers. They worked in the canefields of a small and picturesque Caribbean island until they gained their freedom. As they had worked hard and saved money, they could buy acres of land offered to labourers at preferential prices. They became rich and powerful and enjoyed all the good things in life. Indeed, life smiled upon them until fate stepped in. Both were killed in a terrible vehicular accident as they were returning home one evening from a day with friends at the beach. Sonny’s loss was the start of a new life now.
Suddenly, Sonny, who was about to enter university, was alone. The only family he had was a maternal uncle, Motilal, who decided to come and see about him. But Motilal was an alcoholic and soon Sonny himself was hitting the bottle. He would spend his weekends partying all night, and even during the week he could be seen enjoying himself with friends at the various beaches of the island. His energy seemed boundless and his joie de vivre insatiable! It was no surprise that his grades at the university kept dropping until he opted out altogether. His drinking worsened. He took up smoking, kept company with shady characters until he was hooked on hard drugs. He moved about like a zombie, dirty, unkempt, and appeared to be always angry. When he was accused of raping a thirteen-year-old girl, no one was astonished! Then, one day the police came to arrest him for his alleged involvement in an armed supermarket robbery in which two people were killed. He served six months in prison during which time he was represented by a leading attorney-at-law. But it was proved that he took no active role in the murder of the people, so he was freed.
The time spent in jail was a time of reflection, a wake-up call! The night before his release, he had a strange dream in which his father appeared as a preacher exhorting him to give up his wayward ways and accept Christ as “the way, the truth, and the life” and become “a new creature”. He broke down and wept like a child, feeling a heavy burden fall from his shoulders. The words resounded in his mind; they were embedded in his soul. From that day onwards, he knew his life would be different! It was going to be a new beginning, a new dawn! He felt light, free, pure. It was an epiphany!
His uncle and his lawyer, accompanied by a priest, came to welcome him on his release from prison the following day. When he saw the priest, he remembered his dream; tears of joy, praise and humility filled his eyes. He fell upon his knees before all, pledging to give his life to Jesus. He made his uncle promise to give up drugs and embark on a new life, too! He decided to continue his studies, to give time to the church in its bid to help rehabilitate drug addicts. He even had part of his home converted into a mini centre for learning where he started to give inspirational talks and guidance to all the young men and women of his district and elsewhere who had gone astray and who were in need of financial assistance. All those who knew him before were amazed at this great change in character. Some called it a miracle! And whenever he was questioned about this remarkable transformation, he would simply reply that he was happy to have been offered a second chance in life and that he was determined to make a difference!