The beat goes on

In a recent interview with a young inventor from Hull, I learnt about the inspiration behind his innovative creation.

Aseem Mishra was crowned the winner of the senior age group title at the Young Engineer of Great Britain Competition for his pair of jeans that can be used as a drum kit.

"Taking a drum kit around is such a hassle and I have a band and whenever we gig we fill the whole car up with the drum kit. At the time I was tapping on my legs and thought wouldn't it be cool if I could put a drum kit in my trousers?" Aseem said. Read more »

Water worries

A shop owner from Bradford has been trying to solve the mystery of what has been causing his store to flood for the past three months.

According to Habib Rehman, who owns Dharkan Boutique on White Abbey Road, the leak is likely to have been caused by a gas blast that occurred outside the store in January.

To prevent the water getting too high in the cellar, Mr Habib has been forced to use a pump three or four times a day.

"If we didn't do it every day, the water could reach the level of where the electric point is and there could be another blast," he said. Read more »

Sunny celebrations

Crowds gathered at Chapeltonw Sikh temple to celebrate Vaisakhi - one of the most significant events in the Sikh calendar. The festival commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699, which is the collective body of all baptized Sikhs. After prayers were said at the temple, an elaborately decorated float made its way along the route into town. Children were also carried in a separate colourful float and when the procession reached Millennium Square they sang hymns and performed the traditional martial art of Gatka. Read more »

Stand-up for what you believe in

Comedy is a rewarding profession but it's not all a barrel of laughs, comic Jeff Mirza explained to me in a recent interview.

According to Jeff, when laughs are aplenty, comedy is incredibly satisfying but to succeed comics must have confidence in their material and remain true to what they believe in.

"When I first started out in comedy it was a novelty as I was one of the few Asian comics in the UK but now more have appeared on the scene. Some of them don't include Asian jokes which is fine but they have missed an opportunity to talk about race," he explained. Read more »

Sitar star: By royal appointment

A teenager from Leeds has been given the opportunity to perform at Buckingham Palace in front of an audience of high profile guests including Prince Harry.

Jasdeep Singh, a talented sitar player, was one of 12 young musicians chosen to take part in BBC Two series 'Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment'.

The band got the chance to collaborate with and be mentored by a selection of talented artists such as composer Guy Chambers and rapper Miss Dynamite before their grand performance. Read more »

Respect our rights

Two Bradford fathers are fighting to give bereaved families the choice to determine the cause of death of their loved ones through non-invasive MRI scans instead of post mortems.

On Chsitmas Day in 2008, Ramzan Mohayuddin's son Saad passed away unexpectedly in his sleep at just 18-years-old. The family objected to a post mortem being carried out because the radiologist had informed them that the likely cause of death was the electrical currents to the heart stopping. Read more »

Lounge in luxury

Recently, I visited manager of Phantom Lounge in Leeds for a business profile I was writing for the Asian Express newspaper. Business partners Asif Malike, Zaheer Afzal and Golde Khan set up the business in October last year after spotting a gap in the market. There was no shisha lounge of its size in Leeds and they believed there was a demand for a venue of its type in the city. Read more »

A giant leap for education

A former Head of Chemistry who is passionate about giving youngsters a helping hand is holding free GCSE revision sessions.

Seyed Mansoor and business partner Michelle Dimmick from Leap Education have opened the free tuition up to anyone sitting their GCSE exams. They are looking to hold the free sessions every year and hope to be able to roll it out across West Yorkshire as soon as November before the student's exams in January.

"The individual help we're providing increases the chance of students getting a decent grade and gives them more opportunities in life," Seyed told me. Read more »

Footie with the cops

Police officers in Manningham have been teaching young people in the area about the work they do as part of a police youth project. The 12-week course was held at Carlisle Business Centre was open to 12 to 17-year-olds and aimed to engage with young people by offering workshops in area such as gun crimes, dangerous dogs and nuisance vehicles.

The Manningham policing team and Safer Schools in Bradford came up with idea for the project after the success of a midnight football league they held with young people in the area last summer. Read more »

A loyal companion

After speaking to a friend of mine who works for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, I learnt that the organisation was looking to reach out to people from the Asian community who may benefit from having a guide dog. To find out more about the ways a dog can enhance the life of partially sighted and blind people, I met up with Huddersfield father-of-two Toseef Ahmad.

According to Toseef, his guide dog Pedro has improved his confidence and helped in social situations. When he got his first dog, he was shadowed by an instructor to see how the two would work best together. Read more »