Namaste Dishoom Birmingham

Jas Sansi enjoys a birthday dinner with his family at Dishoom Birmingham. 

And like the candles on his cake, he’s blown away with the new restaurant at One Chamberlain Square. 

Birmingham’s latest addition to a mesmerising food scene has been gently unveiled over recent weeks. From Michelin Star Celebrity Chefs, Digbeth Dining and Desi Grill Deliveroos, Brum’s tums have never been so spoilt for choice.

Dishoom Birmingham has landed.

Strange sounding name for a restaurant? Readers who grew up hypnotised by 1970s Indian Cinema will be familiar with the name. Dishoom is the sound effect added when the action hero socks the villain, squarely in the jaw.

Social media has been awash with the arrival of bacon naan rolls and exclusive to Brum, a mutton chaap korma. Expect a flurry of images on Instagram of the big Bombay, Dishoom’s full English Breakfast.

Dishoom Birmingham have rolled out the saffron carpet at One Chamberlain Square. The building is shared with PwC but there’s no accounting for the beauty of the restaurant’s interior. It is simply gorgeous.

Dark wood panelling, calming botanicals, ceiling fans and soaring closets showcasing Bombay goods transport you to distant lands as you step into the restaurant. 

The genius of the interior, reminiscent of a bygone era when Irani cafes peppered Bombay is this; it will improve with age. Scuffs, dents and marks will aid the restaurant’s journey from design vision to a neighbourhood favourite. We will make it our own. 

Dishoom Birmingham is spectacular in scale. 330 covers is one small step for Naan, one giant leap for Naan kind. 

Bookings are not taken for parties fewer than six. The customer experience invites you to turn up, walk in, be welcomed (everyone is welcome), sit down, order, eat, drink, settle your chit, exit and savour the memory.

In view of the Corona Virus, NHS England suggest washing your hands before your meal for twenty seconds. Alternatively sing Happy Birthday twice. If you had come with me, you could have sang it three times.

The team behind the group, including Executive Chef Naved Nasir, and Head Babus Shamil and Kavi Thakrar are credited for introducing Indian Street Food to the UK. As first cities outside of their capitals, Bombay is seamlessly twinned with Birmingham.

Bombay (Mumbai) is an incredible place. If you ever get the chance to visit, take a copy of ‘Maximum City – Bombay Lost and Found’ by Suketu Mehta. I can’t imagine you’ll get time to read it there but persevere, it’s an unparalleled insight to the place.

For local intelligence on where to eat in Bombay and how to recreate the group’s menu, pack a copy of ‘From Bombay with Love’ from Dishoom. This has been my bedtime reading over recent weeks. It’s £26 and available in the restaurant.

The food and drinks in Dishoom Birmingham are inspired by the spirit of Southern Indian states unlike other Indian restaurants in the city, which are a nod to North India. It serves up familiar dishes alongside the unfamiliar.

India has never shied away from the ability to innovate. For two thousand years India endured wave after wave of invasion. From Alexander the Great in 326 BC to Great Britain in 1608, foreigners have been drawn to its fertile soil. India in turn adapted to shifting political landscapes.

Some of India’s greatest leaders and cultural icons are celebrated on the walls of Dishoom Birmingham. Look for the photograph of Independent India’s first Prime Minister,  Jawaharlal Nehru in cricket whites. 

I was particularly struck by the photograph of Bhagat Singh. He’s not someone who will ever earn mention in British history books but his memory has never faded from Punjabi folklore. 

Bhagat Singh’s inclusion on the wall demonstrates just how much thought has gone into the restaurant’s design in a region where many people have ancestral ties in Punjab. For younger readers of Punjabi heritage, seek his picture out at Dishoom Birmingham and salute him. Your ancestors will be touched.  

The women and men on this wall represent India’s political and thought leaders. They ended the cycle of adapting to the whims of invaders, and started to set the agenda for a post colonial and free India. 

The world’s largest democracy has shaped our region’s Indian community from 4000 miles away for over 70 years. For Brummies of Indian origin, it is our collective long distance relationship.

That said, India cannot claim a monopoly on adaptive evolution. Look around in Birmingham and the West Midlands right now. Change emanates on our streets, squares and thoroughfares.

Dust hangs in the air from power tools breaking ground. Ideas are being chiseled from granite blocks of creativity.

Dishoom Birmingham isn’t here by accident. This is a city region on the up. And its marching forward at high speed too.

Dishoom offers a fresh perspective on Indian food and what an Indian restaurant in 21st Century Global Britain looks like. Their compass has steered them to a good place with perfect timing.

Namaste Dishoom Birmingham, or as we Sikhs convey, Sat Sri Akaal (True is the Great Timeless One)

You are welcome. You will flourish. We shall eat well together.

Dishoom Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3AX

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham @jassansi 07930 837 505

Biden, Boris and Brexit

Jimi Hendrix Smashed Guitar at Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle. Photo ©Jas Sansi 2009

He’s gone.

Messages of goodwill from world leaders were slightly delayed allowing him to bow out gracefully. When it became clear this wasn’t happening, the tweets were fired. 

For Democrats, Progressives and Liberals around the world, yesterday was a good day in a year with little to cheer. One virus down, one to go. 

Congratulations to President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.

Boris Johnson tweeted he is looking forward to ‘…working together on shared priorities from climate change to trade and security.’ 

Meanwhile back in the USA, a reporter asked Joe Biden if he could spare a few words for the BBC. Biden stopped in his tracks, “BBC?” before adding “I’m Irish.”

And there you have it, the first blow struck on the ambition for a UK-US Trade Deal.

Not a promising start on the question ‘Where does a Biden victory leave Brexit Britain?’

If the challenge of rebuilding our economy post Covid wasn’t enough, we now find ourselves isolated. The EU and USA are on the same page. The UK isn’t even in the same book.  

History tells us the ‘Special Relationship’ is strongest when UK and US Governments are politically aligned; Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.  

Tony Blair never recovered from his relationship with George W Bush, David Cameron and Barack Obama had a polite but by no means affectionate bond and Joe Biden considers Boris Johnson to be an ‘a physical and emotional clone of Trump.’ They haven’t even met. 

Biden will remember Boris Johnson describing President Obama as ‘…part Kenyan with an ancestral dislike of the British Empire.’ 

Social Media is suggesting if we think Joe Biden dislikes Boris Johnson, wait until we find out what Kamala Harris thinks of him. 

A Trump win would have favoured a Brexit Trade Deal between the UK and EU. Without doubt. 

Joe Biden as the BBC were informed has Irish heritage and he is resolute about defending the Good Friday Agreement. This takes the threat of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland off the table.

Northern Ireland demand full regulatory alignment with Britain so no to a border down the Irish Sea. UK Fishing Industry want control of British waters. Nissan do not want a ten percent tariff on vehicles exported from Sunderland to the EU. 

We are snookered. Despite Nigel Farage’s best efforts in the Trump Re-election campaign, we are sitting at a gaming table facing the EU, they have a Royal Flush, we are holding a busted one. 

However. The UK is a creative country. Today on Remembrance Sunday, we are reminded of our ability to solve the darkest problems. Nigel Farage would have been better advised to put that £10,000 bet on the UK finding a fix to this challenge rather than backing Trump. 

Biden may not like Boris but the two countries do like one another. Kamala Harris and Chancellor Rishi Sunak both share Indian and Commonwealth heritage. Awkward problems have been solved over Chai and Samosas. 

It may be time to bring out the best china.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, UK.

07930 837 505 @jassansi

Conference Class

Having spent the last 12 years photographing conferences, allow me to share some of the best practice I have witnessed and captured.

I’m Jas Sansi and this is my Conference Class from the perspective of a Photographer.

  1. Have a panel that reflects the audience

It’s not only diversity of colour or gender the world needs, its diversity of ideas and thoughts. And no single colour or gender has a monopoly on this.

Look at your conference panel, will the audience roll their eyes or sit up and listen. Be brave, go wider.

2. Get a Zebra

Remember your sponsors; Weave their brand into the Conference theme. If the Sponsor’s logo is a Zebra, get a Zebra. Doesn’t have to be a real one.

3. Go outside your comfort zone

A Conference Venue is the safest bet for a Conference but cities are packed with different options to host your event. Nightclubs, Museums, Libraries are just a few ideas. Think outside of the box.

4. Product Placement

Whatever your product, have it on display at your Conference. Or change it into a work of art and display that instead. Be proud.

5. Paint the venue

Flood your conference with your corporate colours. Painting with light is easier than with paint.

6. Host a seminar on a canal boat

Take delegates outside. If you’re near a canal, organise a canal boat. Birmingham has more canals and conferences than Venice.

7. Cash in on local history

Everywhere is famous for something. Utilise local history in Conference Marketing.

8. Reduce travel

Hosting a conference in a hotel removes the travel time back and forth to the venue.

Having the key note speaker on site and checked into a room ahead of their slot, is one less thing to worry about.

9. Cut the Coat

Cities have distinct districts, if you’re an edgy start up creative, host your conference in an edgy creative part of town.

10. Always look at the camera

When taking a selfie, always look at the mobile phone not the photographer taking a picture of the selfie being taken.

11. Look out for flashers

Remind photographers not to use flash during a speech. It distracts the speaker as well as the audience.

12. The Money Shot

Always capture a Press Release image that summaries the conference.

13. Trust Your Gut Instinct

If you believe the Press Release image may not work, have a back up one just in case.

14. Crowd Control

If everyone wants to be in the picture, take control even if there are VIPs in the shot. They will appreciate it.

15. Have Your Cake

Coffee breaks allow networking and refreshment. Everyone loves cake but ensure you account for Gluten Free and other dietary requirements. It demonstrates you are a details person.

16. Time waits for no one

Panel speakers are often rushing from one seminar to the next. If you want a key image after the speeches, let the panellists know before they engage in one to ones with the audience.

17. Fame

If you have famous celebrities, plan the photo call ahead of schedule. If fans are also in attendance, understand that you may have to react to events rather than trying to keep to a script.

18. Take a Walk

Stepping outside of the conference space can sometimes pay dividends if you are looking for an interesting shot.

19. Mindfullness

Encouraging good mental health is a win win.

Offering an early morning Yoga session to conference delegates communicates you have their best interests at heart.

20. Take a lead

One of the longest queues, I have ever seen at a Conference breakout session was the opportunity to meet a number of Guide Dogs.

The positive effect they had on delegates was incredible.

21. Blue Sky Thinking

If skies are clear, use outside space for photo calls. Look out for delegates wearing reactor light spectacles though.

22. The Shadows

Light is one of the most important ingredients of a successful Conference. As a photographer, it provides so many opportunities to capture the event.

23. Did I mention cake?


24. Tap into a Major Conference

This is a clever idea. If you are not part of a conference but still want to engage with those attending the conference, organise a networking lunch nearby and invite the individuals you wish to speak to.

25. Networking Breakfast

A networking breakfast is an effective way to welcome delegates and create a holding space during registration.

26. Welcome Tour

Organising a walking tour of the host city the night before Conference is a great welcome to the event.

27. The Games People Play

Have engaging games on Conference stands to draw people in. A Scoreboard with a Conference End prize will introduce a level of competition keeping your brand in the minds of delegates.

28. Nudge

Nudge delegates to engage with your social media platforms by offering an incentive on your Conference stands.

29. Innovate Everything

Everything can be re-invented. People may distrust change but they love innovation. Full English Breakfast on a stick anyone?

30. Hashtag

Ensure you have a Hashtag e.g. #TPC2019. Don’t have more than one. And check the hashtag before you announce it. And then announce it. Keep mentioning it throughout conference.

Encourage all delegates to use it across all Social Media channels before, during and after Conference.

31. Thanks for Nothing

Remember to thank everyone; Sponsors, Delegates, The Venue, Conference Organisers, everyone. It ends a Conference on a uplifting note. And it costs nothing.

I think that’s enough to be going on with. Thank you for reading this blog.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham specialising in Conference and Event Photography and Film.

@jassansi 07930 837 505

Driving Traffic at Expo

Jas Sansi visits the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Expo at Villa Park.

He wonders how Exhibitors steer traffic to their stands. A blog including some great tips on making the most of Exhibiting. 


Business Expos exist to exchange information. They represent the marketing stage of business. They generate leads, ignite conversations and ultimately brings buyers and sellers together in the exchange of goods and services.

Expos make the world go round.

I’ve attended Expos for a number of years. I’ve never left without learning something, making a connection or catching up with a colleague. They’re a valuable tool in the arena of business.

CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Paul Faulkner explained their purpose ‘….people do business with people. Expos are a great way to take a little time to engage with other members of the business community. Expos provide an opportunity for more detailed conversations.’

As I walked around the Expo, I was intrigued as to how businesses attract delegates to their stands. What strategies are in play to break down barriers between both parties and light the touch paper of trade.

I approached a number of exhibitors and asked them that very question ‘how do you drive traffic to your stand?

Macdonald Hotels 

Kirsty Nicholls, Sales Development Manager introduced a putting green to her stand. Delegates who sink three golf balls in a row can win a round of golf.

This is a very clever hook because the Birmingham hotel where Kirsty works does not have any outside space but it allows her to tap into a new market; the Golf Fraternity.

Golf enthusiasts may need a hotel to stay in whilst enjoying their golfing holiday.

For more information email Kirsty on

Brum Breathes 

Birmingham will be introducing a Clean Air Zone in Summer 2020.

The team were exhibiting today at Villa Park and shared with me a seasoned technique called Hooker, Helper, Hero; attract a delegate, discuss their needs and solve a problem they may have.

The Birmingham City Council team also use the Expo as an opportunity to inform other Exhibitors about the Clean Air Zone initiative.

I learned public buses in Birmingham are amongst the cheapest 10% in the country to use.

Go to to see if your car is compliant.

Birmingham St Marys Hospice 

This much loved Charity use a bright pink colour and collateral to attract the attention of delegates.

There is also an interactive True or False quiz about the Hospice with a Chocolate reward for taking part.

Lean more about St Marys Hospice at and follow on Twitter @brumshospice 

Feature Medical Training 

Feature Medical Training (FMT) provide First Aid Training and Mental Health awareness.

The team from FMT use social media to announce their Expo attendance ahead of the event, and again when they have their stand number.

Jo explained ‘…we exchange business cards at Expo and follow up within 24 hours.

For more information about Feature Medical Training, Email Jo at

On Facebook at

Villa Park, home of Aston Villa 

The hosts were also exhibiting at Expo.

I caught up with Isaak Damico who explained the importance of making the right impression with a strong backdrop and high quality Collateral.

They offered a business card draw with the chance to win a bottle of Champagne.

The business cards are collated and acted upon with specific queries prioritised.

Reach out to Isaak Damico on Linkedin for more information about Villa Park:

Canal and River Trust 

Expo Sponsors, Canal and River Trust look after 900 km of Rivers and Canals in the West Midlands.

They are in the process of planting fruit trees along the canal network from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. This will create the longest orchard in the world.

Local communities will be able to access and pick free fruit whilst enjoying the canals.

I learned all of this from Terry Hodgetts, Business Engagement Partner at the Trust. He added ‘…with the increase in house building, the canal network may be the last accessible green space available for people to enjoy.

Their stand exercises the power of chocolate to attract delegates. There are also accessible stress balls until the opportunity to relax waterside.

For more information email Terry on

Follow on Twitter @CanalRiverTrust

Edgbaston Park Hotel 

Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre is located on the University of Birmingham campus.

The team had a Spin the Wheel competition with a range of prizes ranging from Afternoon Tea for two, a notebook, lip balm, chocolate or a set of high lighters.

This was a very powerful tool in attracting delegates. I even tried to blag a second attempt having failed to secure the Afternoon Tea but alas, pleas for teas fell on deaf ears.

Phone 0121 414 8888 to book Mother’s Day Lunch (limited availability) or Easter Sunday lunch (both £27.50)

Birmingham City University
Tips provided by BCU included the power of eye contact and ensuring there is enough space to engage. To engage socially as well as professionally.
The exhibiting team had a Business Card bowl. These are followed up on the next day identifying specific requests and those for general information.
Hands on at Work 
Wellbeing in the workplace is a key buzzword. Hands on Work provide seated massages in your office.
This company has a unique offer, whilst exhibiting, they have massage seats which are always a popular draw for visitors who may have been on their feet for hours.
In addition to this, they are also available for hire for other exhibitors. They will wear your corporate colours and provide shoulder and back massages to your stand’s visitors.
Sound good? Contact Kathy Scott on or 07989 367 669
University of Birmingham
When exhibiting, the University often display a three foot high Wind Turbine made of Lego. This is a powerful draw for Expo visitors and ties in with the University’s Energy Agenda.
It’s eye catching and relevant.
The next University of Birmingham Business Club Event is on 31st March, more information at or follow @KatieJatWork


So there you are, just a small sample of Exhibitors and the strategies they adopt in attracting delegates to their stands.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce deliver over 250 events a year including the Spring and Autumn Expo.
Join the Chamber, get involved and grow your businesses.
Link to the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce website for information on membership, events and much more:


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper 

@jassansi 07930 837 505 






Is Dieting worth the effort?

The countdown to the end of my diet is on.

Was it worth it? 


I have two weeks remaining of my weight loss program. Have I enjoyed the process? Hell no. Do I appreciate the extra energy shedding weight affords? Defo.

Is it worth it? Hmmm.

It’s difficult to lose weight when surrounded by temptation. The very first biblical story was temptation; the temptation to eat from the tree of knowledge.

We have all the facts we need. Poor diet choices lead to weight gain. This has negative consequences in our every day lives.

We have public parks in which to exercise. Private gyms without contracts and more miles of canal path to stroll along than you know where.

Your body is made up of 360 joints, you were designed to move

And yet, as a city region, we struggle with weight. Physical attributes affect our mental health as well as our physical.

I wish I could tell you weight loss is easy. It isn’t. And maintaining weight loss is difficult too.

As human beings, its against our instincts to be hungry. Our bodies may not need constantly feeding but our cravings do.

Try these body hacks over a period of 100 days. They worked for me, they may work for you.

  • Drink water. Sometimes, your body demands hydration not food. Its easy to misinterpret signals of thirst for hunger.
  • When you feel hungry, sip water. Give yourself 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, then you may need to eat.
  • Distraction. To avoid fantasising about unhealthy food, do something productive. Take a walk, swim, read, watch a film, anything that takes your focus away from food.
  • If you’re watching TV and they show a scene with food or alcohol, switch channels.
  • Avoid social media when hungry. Food bloggers post great food images that sprinkle a trail of crumbs to the biscuit jar.
  • Get rid of the biscuit jar. 
  • Check the weather forecast, if the temperature is above 10 degrees, go for a walk. 10,000 steps will take about 1 hour 40 minutes and shed your breakfast calories.
  • Treat yourself to an item of clothing as soon as you notice physical change. You’ve earned it.
  • Drink Green tea.
  • Get 8 hours sleep.
  • Take the stairs instead of escalators or lift.
  • Switch to wholemeal foods; bread, pasta, noodles etc.
  • Snack on mixed nuts such as Almonds or fruit if you get hungry between meals.
  • Don’t have cheat days. Keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Be as active as possible. Your body is made up of 360 joints, you were designed to move.
This is the toughest one and much easier said than done; accept the harsh reality that you are only shedding weight when hungry. If you are full, you either maintain your existing weight or gain weight.
Language matters; the smoking lobby, after Government decided to campaign against smoking, pressured public health to adopt slogans like ‘Quit Smoking, Stop Smoking and End Smoking.’ Why? Because Quitting, Stopping and Ending are all negative notions.
Humans instinctively don’t want to fail, and stopping, quitting and ending are all associated with failure.
Don’t think of dieting as weight loss but rather gaining lightness, achieving better health, earning more stamina. Keep it positive.
Achieving healthy weight is ironically up hill. You will stumble, you will fall, you will experience failure. We’re all human. We’ve spent thousands of years stumbling, falling and failing.
Don’t let being human stop you achieving what you want to achieve.
Is it worth it? Its’s always worth doing something positive, productive and life changing. 


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505




Westside BID #BoostBusiness

In the first of a series of #BoostBusiness events from Westside BID, Jas Sansi joins some of the region’s Bloggers, Business and Professional community for dinner at Celebrity Indian Restaurant on Broad Street.



Westside Business Improvement District (BID) exists to create a more attractive, better marketed, brighter, safer and cleaner business environment in Broad Street, Brindleyplace, Five Ways, Centenary Square, Broadway Plaza and all the surrounding areas.

The BID’s #BoostBusiness initiative supports the companies operating in the area in light of the Midland Metro Tram extension along Broad Street.

The Tram extension is a very welcome addition to the connectivity of Brum but it does pose a number of short term challenges. The work has effectively turned Broad Street into a construction site.

There’s no doubt Birmingham is transforming as it looks forward to the Commonwealth Games 2022 and the arrival of HS2. It feels like there is a lot happening right now. In my half century, I’ve never known such a buzz in Brum. It’s infectious.

As Lord Digby Jones said last week at the launch of the new Elonex office in Brum, ‘Here in Birmingham, we’ve never had a river flowing through our city to boost trade unlike every other major city in the world, but we have a people who don’t care who you are, where you’re from, the colour of your skin or what God you pray to. Our people are our greatest asset.

The first #BoostBusiness takes us to Celebrity Indian Restaurant. This popular venue operates above The Brasshouse occupying the entire first floor. Its sheer size is the first impression made on entering.


Westside BID’s General Manager Mike Olley welcomed the gathering of some of the region’s bloggers, business and professional community. The restaurant was originally situated next to The Birmingham Rep attracting the great and the good from the stage, hence the name ‘Celebrity.’

02 Krissie Wolfe, Erica Hughes, Elaine Weir and Alev Dervish

The vast majority of Indian Restaurants in the UK are operated by members of the Bangladeshi Community. Brum’s most famous Indian chef, Aktar Islam hails from this very background.

03 Mike Olley and Geoff Weir

The Commonwealth nation is home to 163 Million people. The geography of Bangladesh is defined by the Ganges Delta. The waters are a double edged sword; an invaluable source of food in the fish they harvest but expose the nation to the catastrophic consequences of flood.


Celebrity Indian Restaurant celebrate heritage offering a number of dishes that originate from Bangladesh. Let’s take a tour of some of these mouth watering specialties.


Tandoori Jingha, King Prawns marinated in mace, cardamon, ginger and garlic, then barbecued.


Subzee Milijuli, assorted vegetables cooked in a medium strength curry sauce.


Shahi Salmon, prepared in a sauce of peppery gravy, capsicum and green chillies.


Seabass Khazana, fillets of seabass, marinated in various spices, pan fried with fresh herbs and served on a bed of creamed vegetables consisting of paprika, onions and tomatoes.


Jingha Zafroni, King Prawns cooked with distinctive herbs and spices in their shells.


Machli Bengal, Bangladeshi white fish, pan fried with fresh chillies and lemongrass then simmered in a hot and spicy rich sauce.


Cox’s Bazaar Jingha, King Prawns from the tropical coastline of Bangladesh cooked with fresh herbs and spices in a delicious sauce.


The much loved traditional Jalfrezis, Tikkas, Kormas and Bhunas are all on tap but these can be enjoyed in an infinite number of Indian establishments. The seafood selection available at Celebrity Indian Restaurant set out above allows a unique experience.


The restaurant affords an elevated view of Birmingham’s canal network. If you are a party of ten, request the table on the lower mezzanine.


The service was friendly and professional. Starters allowed a gastronomic tour of the chef’s skills and they did not disappoint. Vegetarians, Gluten Free and interestingly even a diner who did not eat onion are all accommodated without fuss.


Thank you to Westside BID and Celebrity Indian Restaurant for hosting a wonderful evening. Monday evening was chosen on the assumption the kitchen would not be stretched. It was heartening to see the restaurant gradually fill to near capacity as the evening progressed. I would therefore recommend booking to secure a table if you plan to visit over the weekend.


Westside BID has an infinite number of bars to enjoy before and after your meal. All businesses are operating as normal throughout the Tram construction works.


Celebrity Indian Restaurant is highly recommended for its seafood offer. All the roar of a Bengal Tiger and more impact than a Tyson Fury right hook.

Celebrity Indian Restaurant 44 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HP 0121 643 8969

Westside BID

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor for The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505


The Weight of the World

Jas Sansi expands on his claim the odds are stacked against those trying to lose weight. 


I’ve been amazed how many people have read, shared and commented on my weight loss blog. Thank you to everyone who engaged with the post, it is very much appreciated. 

The blog ‘The Weight is Over’ states the odds for losing weight are stacked against you. I’d like to expand on why. 

We are exposed to over 2000 adverts per day. Many of which promote fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and chocolate; basically all the stuff we enjoy. 

The corporate brands behind these adverts have multi million pound budgets to literally stuff their products down our throat. 

Here in Birmingham, we are officially the most obese city in Europe. The Marketing departments are pushing on an open door. Thank God for Bobby Singh and his Love Your Postcode screens, if nothing else, Bobby offers a respite from all those empty calories.  

In addition to the adverts on digital screens and bill boards, there is television, radio, newspapers, magazines and social media. 

I was in the gym the other day. The radio was playing in the background. Music gave way to an advert break. The second advert was a Fried Chicken one delivered by a male voice. The fifth advert was from the same company, similar message but clock this; a female voice. That’s right, whether you respond better to a male voice or a female voice, the Colonel has all exits covered.

Traditional media channels spray, display, and pray their products hit the right consumers, but with social media, those algorithmic bad boys tailor their output around who you are. How do they know? Well every time you click on something, you broadcast a signal of who you are. 

I love Social Media and this blog is not a criticism of it.  You are reading this because it’s been shared across Social Media. You’ve been exposed to this blog because we are either friends, family, associates, in a business relationship or networked. 

Whatever our relationship, there exists an element of trust. You are reading this because you know me, or you know the person who shared it across their timelines.

I have a lot of Social Media friends who are food bloggers. I follow them because they are interesting. They are passionate about food, and passion always makes for interesting updates. 

They often post images of food that are fabulous. I’ve been on a reduced and calorie controlled diet since January 1st and the blogger images are hard to see and hard to resist. They pour fuel on my permanent hunger fire. It’s the price you pay for friendship. 

It’s another example of how odds are stacked against attaining a slimmer body. Our own trusted networks conspire against us.

These are just a few of the odds that are stacked against anyone, who is trying to bring the needle on the scales back into the green zone. 

I have 34 days left of my 100 day program. I can see most of my rib cage without an Xray. My watch is loose despite never aspiring to reduce the circumference of my wrists.

These beacons of progress are tempered by the reality that if I tattooed a map of the world onto my stomach, it would be an accurate rendition of a globe. 

34 days to conquer a flat earth. What are the odds? 

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505





The Weight is Over

The odds are stacked against you in the battle to lose weight. 

Jas Sansi explains how you can overcome the odds. 



In 2018, I weighed 18 stone, had a 40 inch waist and enjoyed an intimate relationship with the biscuit jar. Every reflection looked like one of those distorted Hall of Mirrors at seaside resorts.

No one said anything to me, I wasn’t fat shamed or called Porkie. I just woke up one day and thought, is it even possible to lose weight if I wanted to? 

I thought about it carefully. Ironically whilst dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea. 

I asked myself if I wanted to lose weight, later that evening, whilst pouring a glass of red and snacking on a Pringle. 

I enjoy swimming, so it wasn’t like I’m inactive. My job as a photographer keeps me on my feet for prolonged periods.

After a few days of reflection (including in the mirror), I decided to do it. Not ‘try’ and lose weight, ‘try’ gives you a get out of jail card. I decided to do it. Period. No excuses. No Oreo biscuits. 

So I did it. Lost three and a half stone. Went from a 40 inch waist to a 34. 

I bought a whole new wardrobe and threw my XXL shirts in the bin.

A year later, Christmas 2019 and the slim fit jeans were beginning to feel tight. I made the oldest mistake in the book, I grew complacent. The fat cells had returned to the castle. 

So I decided to repeat my program, applying what I had learned, for no other reason than I couldn’t afford to buy a new wardrobe. And it would have been heart breaking to scour the larger size clothes racks again. 

I started the program again on 1st January 2020. And it’s worked. I’ve still got 35 days to go, so this blog isn’t an end of program story, it’s right from the eye of the storm.

Let me share how I did it, twice. And what worked for me. It may not work for you if you’re thinking of losing weight. But if nothing else, it’s hopefully an interesting read. And for the next ten minutes, you’ll be distracted from sliding up to the biscuit jar. 

The Program

First off, ask yourself ‘Are you prepared to commit to a 100 day program?’ Think about this for 48 hours. You can’t be dishonest with yourself. If you can’t commit, you can’t commit. Don’t beat yourself up. If you can commit, read on. 

Give yourself 100 days to achieve the weight loss. This is not going to happen in a week. 

Don’t give up if there’s no change in a week or two. I weighed myself every day during the first 100 day program. For the second run, I haven’t weighed myself once. I would recommend avoiding the scales.


Avoid alcohol for the duration of the 100 days. No ifs, no buts. Alcohol is a lifestyle choice. I’m not preaching abstinence or religion, heaven knows I’ve been drinking for 30 years, but for the duration of the 100 day program, put a cork in it.

Alcohol will disturb your sleep patterns, you’re up at 3am for a pee. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated and therefore unable for the body to carry out chemical reactions to break down fat efficiently.

Alcohol is associated with snacking, a pint and a packet of Cheese and Onion go together like a fat horse and slow carriage. You stay up later, eat later and alcohol suppresses the process of feeling full. You eat more than you need to.

The 100 day program has to be dry, and that doesn’t mean dry wine, dry cider or dry gin.

Whilst on the subject of drinks, the program I designed only allows you to drink two things; Water and Green Tea. Buy a 100 pack of Green Tea bags, have one a day in the morning and use it like a prisoner who counts bricks. The fewer tea bags you have left, the closer you are to your objective.

Tap water here in the Midlands is fine. It’s purity far exceeds the stuff you get in bottles. If you’re reading this in London, get a filter.

The big one now; food.

Eat two meals a day. A late breakfast and an early supper. No lunch, no afternoon tea, no late suppers.

For breakfast, I have Fruit and Fibre (Lidl £1.19 a box). To this, add blueberries and strawberries and milk.

Alternatively, a two egg omelette and baked beans on brown bread.

For dinner, keep it lean, clean and green. Reduce the portions, reduce the fat and reduce the carbohydrates.

Wholemeal white bread, no white potatoes, wholemeal pasta and noodles. Fruit and Vegetables. Lean meats. Limit your salt intake to the absolute minimum. No sugar. No sugar. No sugar and more importantly no sugar.

The human body can’t deal with sugar. It’s like putting rocket fuel in a Ford Fiesta. Unscrupulous companies add sugar to food to make them more addictive. Sugar is eight times more addictive than Cocaine.

Your digestive system needs to begin shutting down at 6pm. After 6pm, its water only.


You need eight hours sleep. I’m in bed at 10pm, in a deep sleep at 10:30pm. At 10:30 a hormone in the body kicks in to sort out your fat deposits.

I don’t know much about it but all I need to know is if I’m not in a deep sleep at 10:30, this fat fighting hormone ship will have sailed without me.

Time Scale 

This one is very important. You have to give yourself 100 days. And then, you have to get from day zero to day 100 as quickly as possible. Think of it as time travel.

My wife says I’m wishing my life away by doing this, but I’m not. You still get to live those 100 days, you just get to live them fast.

How do you get from 0 to 100 faster than a Ferrari? Write down all of the things you enjoy that do not include food and drink, and do them as often and as much as possible.

If you’re a cinema fan, buy one of those monthly passes and go every day. Live music, theatre, dancing, whatever, do it, do its lots and do it for 100 days.

Make time fly.


Weight loss is 90% diet and 0% exercise. Seriously controversial statement, but one I’ve come to the conclusion after two waves of weight loss.

For me, and remember this is what worked for me, exercise is about mental health. It makes you think positive. Positive thinking will help in every area of your life including your new lifestyle regime.

Spending an hour in a gym means you’re away from the temptations of the biscuit jar. But an hour is just an hour, there are 23 hours when you won’t be in a gym.

Exercise hasn’t steered me to weight loss. Being more active certainly has. Taking the stairs, walking more, doing the house work, cooking, pretty much everything which involves mobility.

When you are mobile, you increase your normal calorie burn from one calorie a minute to more than one calorie a minute. How much more? I have no idea, its just more.

And being more active means sleeping better, deeper and longer.


No alcohol, drink water and green tea only. No caffeine, no sugar, no processed food.

The difficulty is the hunger pangs. They will come. These last twenty minutes. Drink a glass of water and give yourself a moment until they pass. And they will pass.

A by-product of these 100 days is your spending reduces. But before you put the deposit down on a Clean Air Zone compliant vehicle, remember, you’ll need that money to buy a new wardrobe.

See you on the other side. You can do this.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505











BYPY 2020 Launch – Game On

Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY)  launch the 2020 event at The Colmore.

Nominations are officially open to find the winners of this prestigious awards ceremony.



This is BYPY’s 20th year. Two decades of celebrating Birmingham’s up and coming Professional talent and future leaders.

The annual event recognises individuals who are flag bearers for their companies, emerging stars for their profession and ambassadors for Brum.

Past winners are embroidered into the tapestry of our city. Early signs of success have matured into incredible achievements. It’s a celebration of who we are.

The BYPY 2020 launch was sponsored by EY. 180 guests squeezed into The Colmore in the heart of Brum’s Business District.

The Colmore is a stunning new bar with wood panelling throughout. There’s even a pool table in the basement with a contact less payment facility.


Nominations are officially live, the categories are:

Finance sponsored by HSBC

Aspiring Talent sponsored by PwC

Legal sponsored by Squire Patton Boggs

Tech and Innovation sponsored by EY

HR (Sponsor opportunity available)

Marketing & Communication (Sponsor opportunity available)

Property (Sponsor opportunity available)

Inspirational Leader (Sponsor opportunity available)


I caught up with Chair of BYPY 2020 Katy Paddock at tonight’s launch ‘BYPY 2020 will be the best one yet. The new venue, Villa Park home of Aston Villa, is just one of the new and exciting things we are introducing.

PwC’s Matt Hammond was announced as Chair of the Judges for BYPY 2020.

Aston Business School will again be funding a place on their MBA program for this year’s overall winner.

Samantha Miller, Chair of Birmingham Future told me after her welcome address ‘I’m looking forward to reflecting on the past two decades of BYPY, and the achievements of the winners from Birmingham’s professional community.’

BNP Paribas Personal Finance are the Headline Sponsor. Jayne Licari explained why they are supporting the event ‘BYPY showcases the positive impact  past winners, nominees and sponsors can make in this great city.’

Ben Collins from EY told me why the services organisation sponsored the launch and Tech Category ‘EY are passionate about Birmingham and raising young talent.’

As Diversity Trustee for LoveBrum, I’m always pleased to see BYPY champion all of Birmingham. Promoting diversity in gender, race, religion, sexuality and disability is the responsibility of everyone.

Successful organisations reflect the communities they serve. The greatest diversity, business and the professional services can adopt is diversity of thought. It is only through expanding our ideas and shredding our assumptions, can we lead our companies into the future; You win, your company wins and Birmingham wins.

With less than two years until the starting gun of the Commonwealth Games is fired, lets embrace this winning formula into our lives.

BYPY 2020 is at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa on Thursday 4th June 2020. See you there.


The Colmore


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to The Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi  07930 837 505


Brummies Networking

Jas Sansi takes his Nikon and lighting to this month’s Brummies Networking in Westside BID

Love was in the air


Westside BID is home to Grosvenor Casino who were recently awarded Best Specialist Venue at the WOWs 2020.


Grosvenor Casino host a popular monthly networking event called The Brummies on their gaming floor. The Brummies is on the second Tuesday of every month between 10am and 12pm.


There is no charge to attend nor is there the necessity to book beforehand. If you’ve never been there before, bring photo ID (because of gaming regulations). The casino will register you and you won’t need to being your photo ID again.


Guests have access to complimentary tea and coffee as well as free on site parking. So all you need are business cards and you are good to go.


Brummies Networking have been running for seven years and is a relaxed forum to meet businesses and professionals from the region.


Today’s meeting celebrated Valentines Day so if you love networking, come along to the next one on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

Full set of images can be seen at:

Everything you need to know about Brummies Networking:

Westside BID :

Grosvenor Casino:


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, a Trustee for LoveBrum and contributor to the Asian Today newspaper.

@jassansi 07930 837 505