Urdu poetry made accessible
Website to help non-Urdu speakers enjoy the fascinating world of Urdu poetry
“Urdu is not my mother-tongue but the language of my heart because Urdu poetry embeds every emotion in it,” said Sanjiv Saraf, the patron and supervisor of the team that launched Rekhta: Bab-e-Sukhan, a website to promote Urdu poetry (rekhta.org).
In his welcome address, Saraf called himself an ardent lover of Urdu language and poetry. He said he faced immense difficulties while pursuing his interest in Urdu poetry as it was mostly written in a script “unknown” to him. “I now consider it as a blessing in disguise as it made me learn the Urdu script but to help other passionate non-Urdu knowing followers of Urdu poetry, I have created this website,” he mentioned.
Saraf also presented a tour of the website showcasing different features and tools of the website. The website lists the poetry in three different scripts – Roman, Devanagari and the original Urdu script. “The website lists the poetry according to their radeefs (last rhyming word) which is a first of its kind and makes the search easier. We have also made sure that only genuine works are added to the site,” he pointed out. The website also has many additional features and tools such as translation, transliteration, an e-book section containing antique books and a powerful search engine which makes ‘the love’ much easier for the lovers.
Inaugurating the function, Kapil Sibal, minister of communication, Government of India, called this initiative as a mirror of the trans-cultural unity of our country. “It can only happen in India that a non-Urdu speaking person takes up such a big burden of promoting the language on his shoulders,” he said. He applauded Saraf and his team for the initiative and said that “the language will always remember this contribution from him.” Sibal also recited a ghazal ‘Tu hi tu’ at the ceremony which was received with thundering applause.
Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, and Dr. Shahid Mehdi, former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia also graced the dais and praised the efforts of Saraf and his team in unison.
The cycle of events concluded with a soulful ghazal performance by Anita Singhvi. Her voice enthralled the audience and made everybody feel that the forgotten glory of Urdu language will return soon. Ghalib, Iqbal, Mir and others would be jubilant up there and surfing the net, maybe!