A plain blue kurti (shirt) with striking blue eyes to match, this man’s photo has probably seen more hits than Salman Khan in the social media circles of India in the last few days. So much so that, people do not even give credit to who took the picture anymore. It was taken by a woman called Javeria in Pakistan and put up one her Instagram account @jiah_ali.
The first post I saw about him was from an Indian who tweeted his pictures, saying something on the lines of how even tea sellers are hot in Pakistan. Yes, this guy sells tea in Pakistan. He is from a poor family and has about a dozen siblings. I laughed at the comment, because, well, obviously not all Pakistani people are ‘hot’. Have you seen their Prime Minister?
But many people were going all ga ga about this guy and honestly, when you think about it, it wasn’t because he is beautiful. It was the fact that he was so poor that it made people think ‘wow, look at this poor guy, he is just a tea seller but is so bloody good looking’. Since when can poor people not look good?
This guy is only 18 or 19 and one news site called him Pak’s nuclear bomb, isn’t that sexist or what? Honestly, I could have died laughing at their headline. It’s one thing to think of something like that, but actually put that as an headline in a reputable website? Wow, we ll do anything to sell stories.
On one hand, I found it amusing and took joy in the fact that women across not just India, but the world (this guy made news even in UK tabloids), were objectifying a man for a change. But on the other hand, it seemed disturbing. What if it had been the other way around? What if it was a beautiful looking poor woman who was selling tea and men started sharing her picture and saying stuff like ‘oh I wish I was in Pakistan’ or ‘I want this chai walla (tea seller)? Not too hard to imagine what people would have thought about that.
Giggling over a handsome looking boy, swooning over his photo, saying silly things, wanting to ogle a little, is all fine, but I am not too sure about objectifying a young boy, calling him things like a ‘nuclear bomb’ in news sites and putting him under unnecessary scrutiny.
One can only hope that all this attention only brings positive changes in his life and does not land him in any sort of trouble.