Beyond Money
Inking a Literary Passion

Moneylife discovers an organisation that nurtures budding writers without allowing commerce to interfere with creativity

Siyahi, in Urdu, means ink—the dye that traps space on paper, by way of contours of the written word, to unfetter our thoughts. It is also the name of a literary consultancy, set up as a trust in Jaipur, which embodies its founder’s passion for literature of all genres and languages.

Mita Kapur, the founder and chief executive of Siyahi, says that the trigger point for setting it up came at a chance meeting with a UK publisher after the Jaipur Lit Fest. He pointed out the urgent need for having Indian ‘literary agents’ and said: “With such an explosion of writing in India, not just in English, but also in regional languages, the time is right.” Says Mita: “He literally pushed me into taking a decision on an idea I had been toying with. And, within a month, in April 2007, Siyahi was up and running.”

Siyahi provides a platform for authors—budding and established—and hand-holds them all the way from manuscript review, to design, to contract with publishers, to marketing. As its website states: “At the heart of the organisation is an insatiable need to find meaningful stories and then help these voices reach out into the world. We enjoy working with authors from all backgrounds and genres. Our effort comes from a passion and commitment that Siyahi was founded to help fresh voices to get heard and read.”

Mita confesses, quite honestly, that she set up the organisation as a trust only because, as a business, it would have had a different set of requirements —rules to play by; commerce and passion are two entirely different approaches. As a trust, Siyahi provides limitless scope for experimenting with creative programmes to promote Indian literature, not only in India but internationally as well. Since 2010, Mita has been participating in the Frankfurt Book Fair and has also been able to sell titles from that very year!

Siyahi has been able to grow its portfolio of authors, albeit slowly; it has about 100 authors now. But Mita says the commitment has grown exponentially with the chord of support she has been able to strike not just within the country but internationally as well. The foreign authors Siyahi has been able to bring to its fold are from countries like Belgium, Pakistan, Canada, USA and Sri Lanka.

The first event organised by Siyahi was in 2007, in its very first year of operations. ‘The Zubaan Poster Women Exhibition’ documented the rich and multi-layered history of the contemporary women’s movement in India.

Siyahi’s USP is its special interest in regional languages. It facilitates translations of books to and from various languages. Mita says: “We have a special interest in regional works and mythology and we actively promote the oral traditions that are the living history of our ancient civilization.” She also believes that translations are a medium of literary preservation. They are becoming increasingly significant in a global world, for cross-cultural understanding. So, in January 2008, Namita Gokhale, the founder director of Siyahi’s ‘Translating Bharat’ conferences, organised ‘Translating Bharat: Language, Globalization and the Right To Be Read’ to provide an interactive space to writers, translators and publishers to understand core issues and work towards creating bonds and benefit from each other’s experiences and understanding. This series of conferences, along with the ‘Mountain Echoes Literary Festival’ in Bhutan (which has ‘mountain writing’ as its unstated, subtle core), have become annual events that authors look forward to. Siyahi has provided consultancy for literary festivals in Singapore and Manila as well.

Siyahi needs funding for organising literary festivals and events to further its commitment to nurture the reading habit, especially amongst the youth. They make a special effort to invite schools and colleges in their events. Donations to Siyahi are tax-exempt under Section 80G.

D-241, Amrapali Marg,
Hanuman Nagar,
Jaipur 302021, India
Phone: 91-141-2245908
Mobile: 91 9829013402
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.siyahi.i


Growth of core industries slows to 2.3% in May

The combined index of these industries—coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity—was at 159.2 in May 2013 with a growth rate of 2.3%, according to official data

Growth in eight infrastructure industries slowed to 2.3% in May mainly due to contraction in crude oil, natural gas, coal and fertiliser output.


The eight core industries had expanded at a rate of 7.2% in the same period last year.


The combined index of these industries—coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity—was at 159.2 in May 2013 with a growth rate of 2.3%, according to official data.


“The decline in the growth rate in May was mainly on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser,” the ministry of commerce and industry said in a release.


The contraction in production of coal, crude oil, natural gas and fertiliser in the month under review this year was at 3.3%, 2.4%, 18.7% and 2%, respectively.


The eight core sector industries have a weight of about 38% in the overall industrial production.


Petroleum refinery production showed an expansion of 5%. However, the growth was subdued as compared to 23.4% registered in May 2012.


Steel production grew by 4.1% as against 3.8%, while cement output was up by only 3% against 15.4% in the review period.


Growth in electricity generation stood at 6.2%, as against 5.9% expansion registered in the May 2012.


The growth in eight infrastructure industries was 3.2% in 2012-13 as against 5% in the previous financial year.


Sensex, Nifty may witness a minor correction: Monday Closing Report

The Nifty may witness a minor contraction. However, the trend on the index would remain strong as long as it does not close below any previous day’s low

The market closed in the green for the third day in a row on support from realty, capital goods power and fast moving consumer goods stocks. The Nifty may witness a minor contraction. However, the trend on the index would remain strong as long as it does not close below any previous day’s low. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded a lower volume of 61.69 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 1050:335.


Earlier, the Indian market opened marginally lower on unsupportive cues from its Asian peers. Most markets in Asia were in the red in morning trade on a fall in China’s official factory PMI for June to 50.1 from 50.8 in the previous month. Concerns of the US Federal Reserve tapering its stimulus also weighed on investors.


The Nifty opened eight points lower at 5,834 and the Sensex resumed trade at 19,352, down 44 points from its previous close. The benchmarks touched their lows in initial trade itself with the Nifty slipping to 5,822 and the Sensex falling to 19,348.


The market soon recovered from the lows and emerged into the positive terrain on support from PSU, power and capital goods stocks. After remaining range-bound till mid-morning trade, the benchmarks gained momentum on all-round buying.


Meanwhile, the HSBC/Markit purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing industry stood at 50.3 in June, slightly higher than 50.1 in May as new orders declined for the first time in over four years and power cuts and fragile economic conditions weighed on the sector’s performance.


The market continued its upmove in the noon session on support from the European markets which were in the green as the Euro region factory output contracted less-than-expected.


The indices hit their intraday highs towards the end of the trading session as across-the-board buying lifted all but two sectoral indices. The Nifty rose to 5,904 and the Sensex climbed to 19,598 at their respective highs.


The benchmarks closed near the highs of the day on buying in heavyweights. The Nifty gained 57 points (0.97%) to 5,899 and the Sensex climbed 182 points (0.94%) to settle at 19,577. 


The broader markets outperformed the Sensex today, as the BSE Mid-cap index climbed 1.81% and the BSE Small-cap index surged 1.95%.


With the exception of the BSE IT index (down 1.60%) and BSE TECk (down 0.44%), all other sectoral gauges settled higher. The top gainers were BSE Realty (up 5.26%); BSE Capital Goods, BSE Power (up 2.77% each); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 2.11%) and BSE Metal (up 1.97%).


Out of the 30 stocks on the Sensex, 24 stocks settled higher. The chief gainers were Maruti Suzuki (up 4.37%); Sterlite Industries (up 3.89%); GAIL India (up 3.27%); Larsen & Toubro (up 3.26%) and State Bank of India (up .17%). The main losers were Infosys (down 1.83%); TCS (down 1.76%); ONGC (down 0.55%); Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 0.44%) and HDFC Bank (down 0.19%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Jaypee Infratech (up 16.98%) and United Breweries (up 14.06%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Gitanjali Gems (down .99%) and MMTC (down 4.96%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Noida Medicare (up 20%) and Objectone Information Systems (up 20%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Bhartiya International (down 18.64%) and Summit Securities (down 18.46%).


Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 40 ended in the in the green. The major gainers were Ranbaxy Laboratories (up 5.19%); Reliance Infrastructure (up 5.10%); DLF (up 4.33%); Sesa Goa (up 3.89%) and Jaiprakash Associates (up 3.73%). The key losers were Infosys (down 2.24%); HCL Technologies (down 1.93%); TCS (down 1.92%); ONGC (down 0.85%) and Sun Pharma (down 0.70%).


Markets in Asia were mixed as the official manufacturing PMI in China expanded at the slowest pace in four months. The Japanese market gained as the quarterly Tankan index for large manufacturers rose to plus four in June, up from minus eight in March.


The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.81%; the Hang Seng surged 1.78%; the KLSE Composite added 0.09% and the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.28%. Among the losers, the Jakarta Composite declined 0.86%; the Straits Times fell 0.30%; the Seoul Composite contracted 0.41% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.33% lower.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks totalling Rs1,124.31 crore on Friday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of shares amounting to Rs581.28 crore.


Utility vehicles leader Mahindra and Mahindra today announced a nominal 0.5% price hike across all models, expect for the premium sports utility vehicles XUV 500 and the Rexton from its Korean arm, despite falling sales, which dipped nearly 8% in June. The stock gained 1.79% to close at Rs988 on the NSE.


Godrej Properties has bought back HDFC Asset Management Company’s nearly 50% stake each in the realty firm's two projects at Chennai and Chandigarh for an undisclosed amount. The exit was provided as per the buy-out option available under separate agreements with the HDFC Asset Management Company for Godrej Eternia project at Chandigarh and Godrej Palm Grove at Chennai. Godrej Properties rose 0.16% to Rs533.40 on the NSE.


FMCG major ITC plans to set up waste processing units in Bangalore by procuring dry recyclable plastic from households and commercial establishments. The project is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of the company to help create sustainable livelihoods for rag pickers and municipal waste collectors (paura karmiks). The stock rose 0.51% to settle at Rs326 on the NSE.


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