Also, it was the first site to have poetry in three scripts viz. Urdu, Roman English and Hindi [Devnagri], on the same page.
It was an amateur blog, not for profit, but the aim was just to present selected Ghazals and Nazms on the internet.
Works of 150 poets on the Website
There wasn't a regular and constant effort on it. Still, it now has nearly 300 ghazals and nazms.
It features around 150 Urdu poets. The plan was to put up 'standard poetry'. Literature or Adab was the first consideration, [not ghazals that have been sung and are easily available elsewhere]. But the tough or the 'over the top' modernist poetry was avoided.
Over the years, it got its own domain. In fact, the site had crossed a million hits long back. The 'statcounter' was put up much later and the Google's display of statistics for blogger platform was released years after the blog began. Still, now that the blog shows more than a million page views, I feel quite happy.
Love poetry, Learn Urdu online
The reason I started this blog was that those who can read a bit of Urdu and want to learn the language, wouldn't have to go ask someone for pronunciation, but will see it right there either in Hindu or Roman English.
In fact, if you have know the Urdu alphabets and also can read basic Urdu, you can improve your Urdu, by seeing the same words in Roman or Devnagri scripts. If you can't read the Urdu [nastaliq] script, get a Urdu primer and give it a try.
I was asked by many friends that I should post Urdu in text. But when the blog started, everybody didn't have Urdu fonts. Even today, many people who are used to reading in Urdu in Nastaliq, find it difficult to read the Arabic font. And, many other sites are using Urdu fonts.
Not just Mir, Ghalib and Iqbal
Most poetry websites feature the poetry of Mir Taqi Mir, Ghalib and Iqbal. I intended to present works of poets from the era of Wali Dakni to the progressive movement and the modernist poets too. Hence, you can find not just Aatish and Nasikh, but also Majaz and Jazbi, Shakeb Jalali and Irfan Siddiqui too.
The meanings of tough Urdu-Persian-Arabic words are also given to help the reader. The progress of the website hasn't been too fast. However, it is quite satisfactory. Only the poetry that will evoke interest from an ordinary reader, and that can later develop in him, the taste for Urdu poetry, is being posted here. The blog will keep growing, steadily, ever.
Do visit BESTGHAZALS.NET