Pakistan's teenaged blue-eyed tea seller Arshad Khan sets sights on modelling, TV and films

Arshad Khan went from tea seller to model and celebrity after a photo of him went viral.
Arshad Khan went from tea seller to model and celebrity after a photo of him went viral.PHOTOS: JIAH ALI/INSTAGRAM & ARSHAD KHAN/FACEBOOK
Arshad Khan, formerly a chai wala (tea seller) by profession, poses for a picture after doing a television interview in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Oct 20, 2016.
Arshad Khan, formerly a chai wala (tea seller) by profession, poses for a picture after doing a television interview in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Oct 20, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD - Arshad Khan, a tea seller in Pakistan who became an Internet sensation due to his looks, now has a modelling contract.

Khan, a chai wala or tea seller, shot to fame after an Instagram post of him serving tea - with blue-green eyes staring intensely into the camera lens - went viral.

Photographer Jiah Ali jokingly captioned her photo "Hot-tea".

The photo, posted two weeks ago, turned 18-year-old Khan into an overnight sensation first in Pakistan and India, then around the globe.

Khan, who had no phone, was not aware of the furore he had created until young people began turning up at his tea shop in Islamabad, asking to take selfies with him.

"I was aware that I am handsome, but you can't do anything when you are poor," he told AFP earlier, but that has changed.

A week after his new-found fame, online retailer Fitin.pk signed Khan up as a model.

"Chai wala is no more chai wala now, he is fashion wala!" it initially said on Facebook on Oct 19.

But another week on, and Fitin announced on Facebook that the modelling deal with Khan did not materialise.

"He specifically wanted to work for international brands and wanted bigger opportunities, that's why our deal could not go through," said the update on Wednesday (Oct 26).

Khan was also seen modelling clothes by well-known Pakistani fashion designer Munib Nawaz, and has appeared on a morning show "Good Morning Pakistan".

On the show, he is given a makeover and does the catwalk in a spiffy suit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99R5hOFJ2WI

The young man has 17 siblings, and he cannot read or write.

But he now hopes to make films and TV programmes to help his family.