City - based Harshad Khandare talks about what makes his website Marathimati.com the most preferred destination for Marathi literature amongst netizens
IT is the sixth result of the Google search - Marathi poems and perhaps the first and the best option for reading Marathi literature on the World Wide Web. The credit of making the website www.marathimati.com, a literary as well as a technical success goes to city-based Harshad Nandkumar Khandare, the man behind the website. And contrary to the arguments that technological advancements have drifted the current generation from their literary roots, Khandare's case is one where technology has imparted revival to literature that would have otherwise remained limited to books.
"As a child I would never read books until one day when I read Bhavananchi Vadale, a book by Ilahi Jamadar. Every ghazal in the book triggered my emotions so much that I decided to create a website dedicated to Marathi literature, poems and articles," says the 27 year-old diploma holder who designed the website in 2001, formally launching it in 2002.
Talking about the unique name- Marathi Mati, meaning Marathi soil, Khandare adds, "I wanted the name to be simple and something common Maharashtrians could relate to. The name just flashed in my mind the moment I thought of this venture." The characteristic feature of the website is the logo- a Thakar man carrying a child on his shoulder with a traditional toy in its hand. "The logo is a picture drawn by my father. One such man had come to our house dressed in the same attire. My fa ther liked him so much that he drew a sketch instantaneously. The Thakar tribe is known for their warmth. So much so that they touch the feet of every guest who comes to their household. Through this logo, I wanted to portray a Maharashtra that is innocent, simple and welcoming," smiles Khandare.
The spirit of the website clearly reflects the poems and stories of villagers from remote corners of Maharashtra.
"This was the first website to be displayed at a Marathi Sammelan. In fact, the first feedback came from South Korea, a place I had never ever imagined to get a reply from. In the journey that I began on my own, friends, language lovers and connoisseurs joined making it a memorable ride. Today, I have countless letters appreciating the efforts, memories of `pats on the back' by veterans and most importantly- blessings of my parents who measure my success in these appreciations," smiles Khandare. Currently, the website records over 1.5 lakh clicks per month. It is listed as a preferred regional website on Microsoftbhashaindia.com. "Once, someone asked me why I do not have anything about Shivaji Maharaj on my website. To get details and pictures about Shivaji Maharaj, I went to Babasaheb Purandare who replied sayingeven I don't have a picture of Shivaji Maharaj with me; he is in my heart! At that moment, I decided that I will not display Shivaji Maharaj, but work towards creating one," he concludes.
"Marathimati .com is more than a regional search engine or website, it refers to people, places, literature and talent beyond the heart of Maharashtra. We go to villages, stay there and find out about their culture, their life and art and bring that information to the rest of the people," says Harshad Khandare, director of Marathimati.com, who has been the spine of the company for the past eight years. There are 76 on-page links on the web page and the search is generally content based. However, there are absolutely no political views implied in the website. read more..
marathimati.com promises an indepth information about everything related to marathi culture, travel, art, literature, business, tourism and more – all in Marathi language. The name itself (Marathimati – marathi soil) suggests its wide reach. read more..