LAHORE-Blue-eyed Arshad (Lovingly called Chaiwala) became an overnight celebrity when his photo went viral on the social media. People started calling him Pak’s nuclear weapon that could be unleashed for surgical strikes on Indian girls. He became overnight sensation across the globe when a local photographer captured his photo and posted it on social media.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation Arshad Khan talks about his career and success. Following are the excerpts of the interview:

Did you ever think one day you will become a model and your posted photo will turn out into an overnight sensation across the globe?

No, I never thought one day I will become a celebrity and people are going to be crazy to take selfies with me.

Whenever I go outside public response is overwhelming. I would specially thank Jiya Ali whatever I’m today is because of that lady.

I had been selling tea for only three months before I was recognized as Chai Wala. I used to sell fruit and vegetables on a handcart in a Sunday Bazaar. I have done whatever was possible to earn a livelihood on daily wages.

How much did you used to earn at Chaiwala Dhaba?

My daily wage was only Rs. 500. Now I feel, the best thing happened to me is that I used to sell the cup for Rs 20 but today I don’t even know how much I earn.

How was your experience as a showstopper for Ziggie Mens at Bridal couture week?

I have not experienced ramp life and photo shoot life like the models. I’m working on ads and commercials and I believe this is more of an actor’s world. Hence, people perceive that it is easy and you can get going only by the spirit and passion.

It is an extremely difficult industry, the competition is unbelievable and it not all about good looks you have to be passionate and talented to survive in this world of glamour.

I feel honoured when Ziggie men’s wear brand came all the way from London and made a perfect outfit for me and said we want you as our showstopper in Bridal Couture Week. So, my experience overall has been a roller coaster so far. It was unexpected, spontaneous and fun.

What challenges are you facing after getting fame in such a short span of time?

I believe no matter what field you are in, passion drives you to push boundaries and go the extra mile. So far there is no challenge which I haven’t over come with the help of the Almighty but yes first I used to wake up early and go to the Chaiwala Dhaba.

Now I wake up and select what to wear from my wardrobe. My fans are always waiting outside my house to take selfies with me.

If someone from showbiz industry would propose to you, would you say yes or you’ll only marry a girl of your hometown family?

Right now my focus is on my work but yes I have given this decision to my elder brothers whatever they will say I will follow their instruction for me they are my mentors and I will always respect their decision.

How do you face criticism?

When you are a public figure you have to face a lot of criticism. People have right to criticize you or give comments. First I did not understand this but with the passage of time I have understood.

Many other things also come with fame. People talk about you, make rumours and talk about those things which are not related to you. In my view you can’t force everyone to like you. People have their own choices. I work for my fans. They appreciate me.

Criticism is a part of life and you should take it positively.

What did you dream of doing? Any particular wish that you want to become true?

I have never been to school but I always wanted to go to one. We were very poor and for me to get education was impossible because of financial issues.

It was my dream to establish an NGO and provide free education to poor children and soon I’m going to launch it.

Describe yourself in two words…

Humble and romantic.

How different has your life become and do you still find time for your family like you did before?

Everyone has to make sacrifices for balancing his personal and professional life. Even achieving this balance requires sacrifices. So, I have been making many to set things straight. I usually go to visit my family twice a month and talk to them on phone whenever I am free.

Would you like to share about your projects?

I’m going to take part in Dubai and UK fashion shows as well as shoot for a brand in Kuwait. Also, I’m working on the script of my upcoming film ‘Kabeer’ and for all my fans this time soon I’m launching a tea brand with my own name Arshad Khan Chai Wala.