Real Life

Pakistani tea merchant becomes internet sensation, gets modelling contract

I was aware that I am handsome but you can't do anything when you are poor.

A young cerulean-eyed tea seller from Pakistan, who became an internet hit after his picture was posted on Instagram, has been offered a modelling contract.

Arshad Khan’s piercing blue eyes and deep gaze saw #ChaiWala become one of the world’s top trending Twitter topics when a candid shot of him serving tea at an Islamabad market was put online by photographer Javeria Ali on October 14.

Since his picture was posted the internet went crazy with many gawking over the youngster’s handsome looks and before long he was featured on news articles all over the globe.

“It was a real surprise,” Khan reportedly told AFP about the online attention.

“I was aware that I am handsome but you can’t do anything when you are poor,” he said, adding that the image has “changed the way I think”.

Now the ‘chai wala’ (tea merchant), has been offered a modelling opportunity from local retail site

Khan’s overnight fame is totally foreign to him – he’s one of 18 children and has never been to school and cannot read or write – but he’s said to be taking it in his stride.

According to The Sun, photographer Ali wrote on her Facebook page that Khan was “very happy” about his the opportunities that have come.

“His family have been living in Islamabad [for] 25 years, previously he was a fruit seller at the same Sunday market but three months [ago] he started working at the tea stall.

“He would love to accept modelling/acting offers. People have been asking about his reaction, he’s very confused right now and is overwhelmed with all the attention. He’s confused, scared and happy all at the same time.

“He doesn’t mind being called a ‘chaiwala’, and yes he is getting a lot of offers!”

The situation is reminiscent of ‘prison bae’ Jeremy Meeks who became an internet sensation in 2014 after his mug shot photo went viral.

Jeremy Meeks poses for his mugshot.

Criminally handsome Meeks, who was reportedly arrested on firearms charges, is now singed to a modelling agency in LA and has an Instagram following of more than 580,000 followers.
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