After chai wala, this Nepalese vegetable seller is breaking the internet

Published: November 8, 2016


After social media made a dreamy blue-eyed Pakistani chai wala shoot to fame overnight across the globe, a Nepalese female vegetable vendor has become the internet’s new darling.

Kusum Shrestha, 18, took social media by storm when a photographer shared pictures of her carrying crates of tomatoes at a local market. Soon after the pictures were posted online, the hashtags #Tarkariwali and #Sabjiwali – “vegetable seller” – quickly started trending on social media as admirers swooned over her beauty.

Hailing from a farming family in Bagling, Gorkha, some 55 miles west of the capital, Kathmandu, Shrestha was photographed by Rup Chandra.

This chai wala is brewing more than a cup of tea

The 18-year-old told BBC she is studying management and was helping her parents during the holidays when the pictures were taken at the Fishling suspension bridge between Gorkha and Chitwan.

Shrestha said she learnt of her overnight fame from a friend, “My friend asked me if I am the same girl whose photos became viral on Facebook but I didn’t know.”

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She revealed that it was a candid picture. “Then she sent me the pictures and when I saw them, I found it was me. On that day, I came to sell the vegetables to help my parents. When I was on my way to sell the vegetables, RupChandra [the photographer] took my picture – but at that point of time, I didn’t know that I was being photographed.”

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When asked if she would like to take up modelling as her career like tea-seller Arshad Khan, she responded excitedly, “Yes, I will go.”

Her father shared that she wishes to be a nurse in the future. “She is my only child. I should educate her to the extent possible,” [sic] he said. “But I also have to consider my financial situation. I could not admit her into a nursing college though she wanted to study nursing,” he said.


Here’s how some reacted to her pictures:

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mohibullah Khan
    Nov 8, 2016 - 2:10PM

    Appreciate the girl who is studying and also supporting her parents.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 8, 2016 - 5:16PM

    Our chap except beautiful eyes is no match to this girl who lives in far worse conditions, works hard and has more education. Recommend

  • Shazia Bangash
    Nov 8, 2016 - 6:12PM

    Girls with this look are a dime a dozen in Pakistan, and they are taller too!Recommend

  • utpal
    Nov 8, 2016 - 6:44PM

    @Hina Blue eyed boy is one of the twelve siblings, girl in green is the only apple of eye of her parents. Education is costly. Nepali girls work really hard outdoor.Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Nov 9, 2016 - 10:31AM

    Even i am man. But don’t find her sensational. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Nov 9, 2016 - 4:36PM

    @Shazia Bangash:
    Perhaps, but that may be true of Nepal too. Recommend

  • Pea Brain
    Nov 10, 2016 - 5:50AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    such insightful commentary, as always.Recommend

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