Pakistani ‘chai wala’ turns model after finding fame

BBC News : A handsome “chai wala” (tea seller) in Pakistan has seen his life change overnight after a picture of him at work swept the internet.

Following the swift sharing of the picture, thousands of lovestruck Twitter users promptly joined in, expressing their admiration for the chaiwala’s captivating gaze, which led to the trending hashtag #ChaiWala across various social media platforms.

Just a few days later, Mr. Khan embarked on his inaugural modeling campaign.

Capitalizing on his newfound fame, Fitin.pk, an Islamabad-based online shopping site, wasted no time in securing Mr. Khan as their model, utilizing his images to showcase their menswear collection.

A message on its website and Facebook page reads: “Chai wala is not more chai wala now he is fashion wala!”

Collage showcasing before and after pictures of the chai wala's transformation, highlighting his journey from a tea vendor to a successful model, inspiring others with his story.
Photographer Javeria “Jiah” Ali pictured with chai wala-turned model Arshad Khan.JAVERIA ALI

During an interview with local TV news, Mr. Khan revealed that his family had resided in Islamabad for the past 25 years and that he only recently joined the tea stall a few months ago. Interestingly, he admitted to not being familiar with popular social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter.

According to reports from Pakistan’s Express Tribune, the publication managed to track down the tea seller-turned-celebrity at his usual workplace. When asked about his awareness of his newfound global fame, Mr. Khan responded with humility, stating, “Yes, I am aware of my newly found fame, and I am incredibly happy. My friends have been showing me pictures since this morning.”

One Indian Twitter user, @Shruti_writes,

Making a reference to the tensions between India and Pakistan, she urged for peace on behalf of the teenager, stating, “Pakistan has #ChaiWala looking like this. Please don’t bomb it, thanks” [Sic].

Ms. Ali, the photographer who shared the fateful picture on 14th October, foresaw the worldwide reaction and simply captioned it with “Hot-tea,” concluding with a wink.

Expressing her joy, she remarked, “I’m very happy for him, he deserves this. He’s a really nice kid.

After gaining sudden fame as the “chai wala” (tea seller) in Pakistan, Arshad Khan has embarked on a modeling career. The viral photo of his striking features captivated social media users, leading to numerous modeling offers and opportunities.

Fitin.pk, an online shopping site based in Islamabad, was quick to sign him up as their model. They featured him in their menswear collection, utilizing his images to showcase their products.

During an interview, Khan shared that his family had lived in Islamabad for 25 years and he joined the tea stall a few months ago. Interestingly, he mentioned being unaware of popular social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

When approached by Pakistan’s Express Tribune, Khan humbly acknowledged his newfound fame, expressing his happiness and gratitude. He shared that his friends had been showing him pictures of his viral photo since the morning, indicating his awareness of the global attention he had received.

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