Abhi Martin

In honour of Abhi Martin (31/8/89 - 14/12/06). This is a place where Abhi's friends and well-wishers can leave tributes in memory of our recently departed loved one.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 18th Birthday, Abhi

Today is the occasion of my oldest son's birthday. He would have been 18, and it brings me much sadness that I cannot enjoy this milestone with him. Some of you may know that last year, Abhi took his own life. I'm not sure if I've come to terms with this yet. Or if I ever will. It is such a tragic waste.

This photo was taken not long before his passing, and it was a very happy family day. In the photo are my daughter, Champaka (now 20) and Abhi. The photo was taken in Lorne, a small sea-side town south-west of Melbourne, after we'd driven to Stephenson's Falls in the Otway Ranges. In addition, my mother, my partner Zoe, our youngest son Alexander and I were all together on a rare trip out of the city.

Abhi didn't live with me (his mother and I split when he was very young), but visited regularly. This visit was in October, and on the previous visit we went on a day ride on my motorbike together. I've since found online writings where he said he really enjoyed these activities, which gratifies me somewhat.

Abhi was a really gentle soul. He was intelligent, creative, funny, considerate, modest and not afraid to be different. He was just finding his own power, and unfortunately he misused that power. He couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, not realising that he would soon be in a place where he could change things for the better.

I recently came into possession of some of Abhi's school work. In Year 10, he produced a short film he called Simple Actions. I'm told he got top marks in his class for it. By chance, Blogger have just added new functionality to enable the uploading of video clips (as opposed to embedding YouTube clips), and I am pleased to publish Abhi's work below. I thought it would be an appropriate way to acknowledge his life. His film uses Moby's Porcelain, which we coincidentally selected as part of a tribute CD at his funeral.

Simple Actions - a short movie by Abhimanyu Martin (2005)

These are some more of Abhi's computer-generated artworks. One is a portrait of his good friend, Bianca, another a self-portrait - he took a photo of himself, traced it then manipulated it using a graphics editor. The other is a fictional heavy metal band tour poster he made as part of a school SAC. He described to me with some pride what the different aspects of the illustration represent (such as parts of a guitar and keyboard), but I can't remember all the details.

Abhi was born on the last day of winter; both he and I were born on the 31st, but of different months. His sister and mother were both born on the 3rd of different months. Both Champaka and Abhi were born in August, so their birthdays were 28 days apart. I'm a numerate person, so while I'm not sure of the significance of these numbers, they resonate for me.

Abhi didn't feel he had very good social skills, and I suspect he felt this most at school. He wasn't interested in conforming or being part of the group, gravitating more towards the more thoughtful and intelligent kids. He had a very good way with children and was very patient with them. He enjoyed teaching things to his younger brother, Alexander, and playing with him. When he accompanied me on the motorbike for group rides, he'd be the only youngster but was very comfortable in the company of adults, occasionally cracking intelligent jokes. We live near the bay and he would enjoy accompanying us for long walks along the water.

Abhi is named after the son of Arjuna, and these are both characters in India's famous epic story Mahabharata. Abhimanyu was a heroic young fighter who died in the battle of Kurukshetra. According to legend, he was only sixteen years of age, and could only be killed when six great warriors broke the strict rules of engagement by ganging up on him.

In the year prior to his death, Abhi made a special point of embracing me when he came to our place, and especially when I dropped him at his mother's, when he would also say "I love you." At first it surprised me, as I didn't expect this show of affection from a seventeen year old boy for his father. I now think it was his way of saying goodbye to me, and that he was planning to leave this world. I miss him terribly.

In memory of Abhi Martin
31.08.89 - 14.12.06

P.S. If anyone has anything they'd like to contribute or share, please feel free to add it here or email me at pmartin1960 [at] hotmail [dot] com.


At 29/9/07 11:18 am, Anonymous `aliCee xOx said...

abhi! you know, i took so long to wake up from my surgery that my family thought that i wouldnt wake at all. but they also said that they prayed and that the angels sent mee back. i know that you must have been one of the angels abhi :) though it often doesnt show quite as much, we all miss you some of us feel the sorrow deeper than others and there's just so many things that simpy still remind mee of you. at your hallam memorial a plaque was put near our table abhi :) you taught me how to plays hearts remember?! and always laughed at my 'useless' strategies :) i wouldnt be surprised to know that you still come there from time to time. i checked your blog from time to time up until about 2 weeks b4 your birthday but since there hadnt been any changes i figured maybe your family didnt use this site anymore. it was only by chance that i checked today.
i didnt think i would cry anymore for you, not after your funeral but there have been times when i get misty when i remember the good times we had or when the tears simply fell freely on your birthday this year. i bet you'd call mee a crybaby if you were still here. god knows i seem to have a thing for crying alot LOL i hope that maybe they'll put something about you in our yearbook, if they dont, i'll steal your pichures off here and create sumfing :) im good at vis comm. just not as talented as you remember?!
i know you're smiling down on mee wherever you are darling, so now i smile for you :D

At 29/10/07 10:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abhi, we just had our muck up day and i know how much you would've enjoyed it...especially having shaving cream stuffed in your mouth :S. We have almost finished our year and Abhi i just wish that you could've been here to share our relief of the end of schooling. I know for a fact that you would have beat me badly in all the exams and i also know you will be dancing wildly with us on valedictory night..:)..our graduation.we have compiled something special for the yearbook. love always beanks

At 26/12/07 9:39 pm, Blogger WaWa said...

Hi Paul
Your thoughts on Abhi are really beautiful, thank you for sharing them and being so brave. It broke my heart reading about him, I hope you and your family are getting through the tough times. He was a gorgeous and talented boy and I hope he is at peace. Bless you all, especially Abhi's soul.

At 31/8/08 7:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 19TH Birthday Abhi.

I know you are always with me.

At 23/7/10 12:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I recall the photo of Abhi and I was taken in November.
Love xx


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