This web site is a labour of love for me. The original reason behind the creation of this website was my frustration when I tried to find a good site dedicated to ghazals and nazms. Most web sites had the same poets listed in them, usually with the same ghazals and nazms. I decided to share what little I knew with others. 30th September, 1997 was the date this web site made its hesitant debut on the World Wide Web.
It started off as Nitas's Urdu Poetry Page and was hosted on Geocities. It has come a long way since then. Somewhere along the way, the emphasis shifted from just sharing what I had (which was meagre when compared to the vast treasure trove of Urdu poetry) to creating a comprehensive archive of Urdu poetry in Romanized Urdu. With less and less people learning, understanding and enjoying Urdu and Urdu poetry, there is a very real danger of these gems being lost forever in the mists of time.
The ghazal and nazms at this site are in Romanized or transliterated Urdu. This means that the poems are in Urdu written in the English script. Here is the transliteration scheme I use for mapping the Urdu alphabet to the Roman letters.
So why did I chose Romanized Urdu over the Urdu or the Devnagri script? Urdu occupies a unique place in the plethora of Indian languages. It is understood by a large number of people who cannot read the Urdu script. To have the poems in Urdu script would have meant depriving all these people of the richness and beauty of Urdu poetry. Similarly, by presenting the poems in Devnagri (Hindi) script, a large number of people would not be able to enjoy this site and its contents. Romanized Urdu, or transliterated Urdu, is the only way to reach the largest possible audience.
I must be doing something right since this website has earned a few awards & accolades in its short life.