A Way with Words: Consulting the Literati

AsiaBiz Today, March 15, 2016

Mita Kapur is the founder and CEO of Siyahi, India’s leading literary consultancy. In her other avatar, she is also a writer, critique, curator, commentator and editor. A freelance writer based in Jaipur, Mita’s journey with Siyahi began in April 2007. Her constant interaction and engagement with writer friends gave her the impetus to begin what has become one of India’s finest literary consultancies with an author base of 93 writers. Siyahi manages author careers, beyond just representing their books. It also has representation in countries like USA, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Korea, Brazil, and Germany, and also work directly with publishers worldwide.  Nestled in Jaipur, a city rich in culture and legacy, the home of the famed Jaipur Literary Festival, Siyahi offers diverse services to established and debut writers across a cross-section of genres. . Siyahi also produces the Crime Writer’s Festival, which had its first edition in New Delhi in 2015, and is a genre-specific festival. Passionate about bringing the reading habit to more people, Siyahi organises Write Circle Events, as well as socio-cultural events which encourage social entrepreneurship. (www.siyahi.in)

Mita Kapur’s passion for bringing the written word to larger circles of influence, is also found in the production of literary events, under the aegis of Siyahi. These events came much after her being one of the founding members of the Jaipur Literary Festival. A chance meeting with The Royal Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck led to the famed, Mountain Echoes Festival in the year 2010. Mita graduated in English (hons) from LSR, Delhi and did her post-graduation in Journalism from IIM-C.

As part of her own literary career, Mita began her debut with The F-Word.  A quirky yet intriguing tale of the constant struggle between taste and health, Mita Kapur struck a chord with mothers of all ages, trying to find a balance between work and satisfying the different taste buds of their family members while being healthy and nutritious. Her latest endeavour is as editor of Chillies and Porridge: Writing Food by Harper Collins, which brings together an eclectic selection of chefs, writer, editors and food lovers talking about their favourite subject: FOOD. “Expressing thoughts, ideas freely and creatively was always what I wanted to do”, says Mita.

Her domain in the writing field also extends to freelance journalism as she regularly writes for various newspapers and magazines, expressing her thoughts on social and developmental issues, travel and food along with writing lifestyle humour stories. These are featured on her blog, as well www.mitakapur.com, as well as have been featured in publications like Vogue, Verve, National Geographic etc.

High point in career

“Each book coming out is a high point. Each author writing in happily about her/his book having made it is a high point. There are so many high points – the list will be endless and that’s what I savour.”

Most challenging assignment so far

“Mountain echoes literary festival and keeping Siyahi at a standard which are my ideals – we keep working towards upping our own professional levels.”

Greatest inspiration

“Difficult question – too many women – I get a typical strength from each one of them so it’s like trying to fit this puzzle and I really don’t want to. Each one of them has been relentless, conquering, achieving, sleepless, giving, sensitive and fine human beings – I continue to turn to them – the list is long and keeps getting added on to.”

Most important milestone in life

“My girls – following their dreams and living their life just the way they wanted to.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“Yes please! Human dignity is the point to make – individual human being is what matters.”


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