Until a few days ago, Arshad Khan was just another tea vendor in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. The 18-year-old used to sell tea in the crowded Sunday Market. Fast forward to October 20, and he has become an Internet sensation in Pakistan and India. He has also won a modeling contract with online retailer Fitin.pk. When asked which movie star he resembles, Arshad said, “Shah Rukh Khan.”

Arshad Khan Pakistan
Image Credit: Jiah Ali / Instagram

When #ChaiWala became top trend on Twitter Pakistan

Arshad Khan’s photo was casually snapped by photographer Jiah Ali a few months ago. Jiah posted the photos online on October 15, and soon women all over Pakistan and India began to fall in love with his deep blue eyes, stubble, and thick locks. His photos were shared all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By Oct.17, #ChaiWala had become the top trend on Twitter Pakistan!

Khan told media that he has 17 siblings, and he is a native of Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He has been selling tea in Islamabad for the last three months. When Express News asked him whether he was aware of his newfound fame, he replied, “Yes, I am aware of my newly found fame and I am incredibly happy. My friends have been showing me pictures since this morning.”

Arshad Khan signs modeling contract with Fitin

He first got a sense of his fame when he saw local boys with flyers featuring his face. Since then, he has been mobbed by media people for interviews. He told Samaa TV on Oct.18 that “some 40 to 50 girls have visited me since morning.” The tea vendor-turned-model has now also become active on Twitter. Though the Twitter profile is managed by “team Arshad Khan,” all the tweets there are signed by him.

Image source: Fitin.pk (screenshot)
Image source: Fitin.pk (screenshot)

On Oct.18, Fitin.pk confirmed that the blue-eyed tea vendor had signed a modeling contract with the Islamabad-based company. The online retailer gave a cheeky tag line: Chai wala is no more chai wala, now he is fashion wala!. The company added that Arshad Khan would be working as a model for its “full version launch.” Khan is a big fan of Hollywood movies.

Arshad Khan Fitin
Image source: Fitin.pk (screenshot)

Is Arshad Khan being unfairly objectified?

When asked whether he was open to working in movies, he said, “Sure I will.” However, some social media users have questioned whether the tea seller has been unfairly objectified.