When Arshad Khan, a tea-seller in Islamabad's Peshawar More, reported to his workplace on 15 October, he had no idea why media personnel were thronging the place, eager to talk to him.
Well, it is all because on 14 October, Pakistani photographer Jiah Ali took to Instagram to post a photo of Arshad, whose piercing stare and steely blue eyes would make him an internet sensation overnight.
Hot-tea 😉 p.s you can catch him at itwar bazaar (peshawer mor) near the sabzi area #seewhatididthere #potd #instadaily #igersislamabad #igerspakistan #instagram #nikon #jiahsphotography #nikonpakistan #vscocam #vscogrid #dawndotcom #shutterpak #etribunepk #vdco #tea
A photo posted by Jiah Ali (@jiah_ali) on
Over the next few days, the #ChaiWala took over the internet. While some chose to objectify and drool over the handsome tea-seller from Pakistan, others decided to mock the trend all together.
On 18 October, Arshad bagged a modelling contract with an online retail store in Pakistan, after a few whirlwind days of television appearances and all the attention that comes with overnight stardom.