Oktober Jest

Zara C. Churri offers some thoughts on objectification to go with your chai…

Oktober Jest
Hey guys, Happy Halloween! You know, it’s easy for me to get spooked at this time of the year (in case you forgot, I suffer from severe daemonophobia), but this Halloween, I’ve been spooked by much more than just demons. October has been the month of Arshad Khan, or the Chai Wala, as he is popularly known. The blue-eyed, eighteen year-old, chai-making, chick-magnet took the world by storm after a blogger posted a picture of him on Instagram (for which he apparently wasn’t even posing, yeah). Now, I know you don’t want to read another article about the Chai Wala’s rise to fame, his good looks, or how he has been shamelessly objectified by ogling women (some have called this ‘reverse objectification *eyeroll*), but I feel that there is still much to be said about this very scary situation.

First of all, what is all this reverse objectification nonsense? I mean, people, objectification is objectification. Using terms like ‘reverse’ basically implies that objectification is exclusive to women - that is it somehow our lot in life - which it is not. Like, people objectify cats on social media all the time, and don’t get me started on the (stunning) monstrosity that is Brad Pitt. And, yes, women have suffered the brunt of objectification because we happen to be mad attractive creatures in general, but we are not baicharis (poor old ladies) and we are not powerless (thank you very much). Second, women are not the only ones doing all the objectifying in the Chai Wala’s case. Objectification can be sexual in nature, but it can also have many other motives *double eyeroll*. Plus, there is no rule that says objectification must be done by the opposite gender. Guys, the Chai Wala has been subjected to much worse than ‘googly’ eyes and a sigh of longing, which brings me to my third point. There is something greater going on here that no one is addressing (like, duh).

Arshad Khan gets a make-over
Arshad Khan gets a make-over

Everyone seems to believe they're making a fuss about his looks, when they're actually making a fuss about something else


The following is a Facebook conversation between young adults of The One Percent.

Nadia Omar

30th October at 3:35 am. Lahore

Uhhh…so sick of girls these days. All of them are always complaining about feminist rights and god knows what else, but when it comes to Halloween, they all want to be unoriginal and dress like sexy kittens. Stop ruining our gender’s image. Like come one ladies there are OTHER costumes. Stop putting bunny ears and tails and making whiskers on your face and MAYBE someone will take you seriously. K thanks bye.



Shameel Zafar: OMG…this is amazing. I’m glad a woman has finally spoken about this.

Nadia Omar: Lol Shameel…thanks…had to be said.

Zoya Asad: Shut up Shameel…we don’t need more men telling women how to dress.

Yusuf Khan: Yo Shameel…don’t you dress up and take pictures for a living bro?

Shameel Zafar: Yes but I don’t dress slutty bro :P

Sahar Sharif: It’s depressing to see how women have now started attacking other women for the way they dress. Nadia, what you wear and what you say aren’t linked. Just because you dress as a cat does not mean that you’re not a smart intelligent human being with a brain. Very disappointed to read this.

Nadia Omar: I wouldn’t care how anybody dressed if they weren’t so hypocritical about it. On the one hand, such girls are always complaining about being taken seriously or being dissed by men. On the other hand, they don’t want to wear a proper costume because they are more concerned with looking sexy. In fact, nobody wants to wear a costume unless it makes them look sexy. That’s my point, Sahar.

Sahar Sharif: Whatever…maybe they don’t have time to waste on a costume.

Yusuf Khan: Yes Nadia, stop telling women to not dress sexy…lol.


Did any of you actually watch the morning show where they gave the Chai Wala a makeover to (well, basically) take him from zero to hero? It was a total abomination, but it really brought something to my attention. Everyone seems to believe that they are making a fuss about this guy’s looks (right?), when they are actually making a fuss about something else. For example, it seemed as though the morning show was driven by the Chai Wala’s looks. But, in reality, the entire conversation was about how this poor un-groomed Chai Wala from Mardan  (I mean, he isn’t even called by his name), who doesn’t have electricity to watch TV, and who can’t even sign his own name, became famous overnight because of this one picture where he looks really hot. You see? So, if the Chai Wala was ‘discovered’ while playing tennis at an exclusive club or dining at Cosa Nostra, I doubt people would be so crazy about him. Arshad Khan is a product of class stratification, more than any form of sexual objectification, because it’s not just about his face. It’s about who he is, where he is from, and what he does for a living.

Could our 'Chai-wala' ever be the sensation he became, if he had not been a 'chai-wala'?
Could our 'Chai-wala' ever be the sensation he became, if he had not been a 'chai-wala'?


Shameel Zafar > Nadia Omar

30th October at 2:45 pm. Lahore

So…what are you dressing up as tonight for the party?

1 like


Nadia Omar: Harley Quinn…I’m always rebellious lol

Yusuf Khan: You and 5000 other sexy people :P

Zara C. Churri lives in Lahore