Arshad, a young, blue-eyed chaiwala from Pakistan, was having a typical day at the tea shop when a photo of him casually taken by photographer Jiah Ali went popular on social media in 2016. Since then, Arshad has become an online superstar. He had several modelling opportunities in less than two months, and finally, invitations to act began to flood in. In the year 2023, he has re-entered the public eye by opening Cafe Chaiwala Arshad Khan on Ilford Land in East London.
“After that picture went viral, raaton raat meri zindagi badal gayi,” he gushes, “Things have changed for me financially, personally, and professionally. Earlier, I was able to wear anything, eat anywhere, or do anything that I wanted to do. But now, there are certain boundaries that come with fame. I have to see what I am doing, wearing and where I am eating or sitting.”
Even while the 23-year-old is still revelling in his rising fame, he acknowledges that it took him some time to really comprehend what was going on. "After the photo went viral, I was approached by the media for an interview. I didn't understand what was going on with me for as long as two months', jokes Arshad, recalling the flurry of activities that followed that one photo at the tea stall.
Arshad began modelling for certain businesses and advertisements in Pakistan not long after he began to enjoy his newfound celebrity.
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