Calendar boy and habitual hair flopper Farhan ‘John’ Abraham has come out against the hegemony of cool in a High Hinglish interview with the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).
‘Let me state once and for all, I’ve done nothing to consciously project a cool image. Whether it’s the motorbikes or brand endorsements, I do what comes naturally to me,’ John told IANS.
Sensing that the endorsements and motorbikes were undercutting his anti-cool talking point, he continued in a veritable mobius loop of unconvincing argumentation
‘I feel there’s an overt attempt to portray oneself as cool in our industry. But to try to be cool is very un-cool. If there’s a cool-quotient to your personality, it will show up without your trying,’ he added.
Critics of the clearly overwhelmingly cool Abraham have pointed out that he would be well advised to take up the banner of those who do not overtly attempt to portray themselves as clever. In fact since the controversial interview and launch of the much discussed John Abraham
Beefcake Muttoncake calendar — enrollment at his alma maters Bombay Scottish and Jai Hind College have plummetted.
Prospective parents for both institutions when interviewd by the Grumpaji Samachar expressed similar concerns. Mrs. Parijaat D’esai of Rushimangl Building, Walkeshwar lead the pack in vocal expressions of concern, “In my youth I c0uld have willy nilly married Parsis and all sorts of Christian Malayalees if I was just going to produce cool children with good looks and maximun height and abdominals. Why should we who chose more conventional categories, such as astrological indicators and a desire to minimize parental cardiac episodes, now be punished?”
“Everyone is concerned that Bombay Scottish and even Jai Hind College have gone very downhill,” Continued Mrs. D’esai, ” When these filmi/calendar types can’t get through a simple Angrezi sentence without endlessly repeating cool … how will this get my Motilal-beta into Emory.Stanford.waghera? He can’t do similar shirt lifting antics to this Abraham character … we need quality education return … highest English medium standards!”
“If he wants so much cooling … let his mother feed him jeera water.” She added with what this reporter cannot only describe as a classic, near-moustachioed harumph – which is not to imply anything hirsute about Mrs. D’esai who was merely downy about the upper lip.
Asked to further clarify his comments on coolness — its ubiquity and unpopularity –after the public criticism — Jo-Abs was befuddled by the uproar which hindered him not at all from commenting at length.
‘Whether it’s my own brand of clothes or me serving as a brand ambassador for a mo-bike, I guess I’ve been forging my own style of self-projection. The calendar is an idea that, to my knowledge, hasn’t been done by any other actor. It’ll contain only my images. Does that seem slightly narcissistic? It is actually nothing more than a humble exercise in public relations. The calendar with my pictures shot by Subi Samuel will be sent to people whom I know and would like to reach out to at the beginning of the year. It’s a no-profit venture. When I was doing an endorsement for my clothesline, someone said, ‘cool is John Abraham’. It’s interesting. But they would look at the clothes and say, ‘this is very John Abraham’. I felt flattered. When you get branded with a certain image that defines your cool-quotient, I think it’s very cool.’
In order to unpack this further mass of contradictory Abrahamisms we contacted Professor of Media Studies Moonya Bhowmick at UC East LA who said ‘ Debates about “Abrahamic studies vs. Abrahamology” may be irresolvable because they are symptoms of a crisis of a different order: the academy’s still-colonialist relation to our civilization(s)’ folk-or-wisdom traditions, “hot shirtless guy” traditions in particular. Scholars of Abrahamic studies or Abrahamology practice a kind of “colonialism writ-small” when they remove their subject matter from its lived, societal contexts and re-situate it in conceptual worlds of their own devising. If endless debates follow, they concern these worlds we have constructed rather than the material reality of his attractive stubble contrasted with his gleamingly waxed torso”*
*Uffi-Nayar, Amita (2002) Depilating the Interim: Representation and Parsi Mallus from the Fin de Siècle to the Fire Temple. London: Tauris