Master calligrapher, Ahmed Ali Bhutta of Lahore, did the calligraphy for the word “Urdu”, facilitated by Hast-o-Neest Institute of Traditional Studies & Arts, Lahore. The script used is Lahori Nastaliq the national script of Pakistan, developed by Ustad Abdul Majeed Parveen Raqam (1901-1946) in the early 1940s in Lahore.
The name “Joy of Urdu” is in English, depicting the project’s bilingual role: the word “Urdu” is calligraphed in Nastaliq around the Nuqta, the dot that gives a letter it’s sound depending on its placement above, below, or within the symbol. In calligraphy, the nuqta equals the width of the reed pen and is the basic module for proportioning letters in Nastaliq and other Persian-Arabic scripts. This particular nuqta has been taken from an original manuscript by Ustad Raqam.
This central symbol of the Nuqta as a geometric point, is the centre of the circle, which contains all geometric forms. It is the dot beneath the first letter – the ‘bey’ of ‘Bismillah’ i.e. ‘In the name of Allah’ – with which the Quran begins- and which is said to contain the whole of the Quran.
The joyful, child-like quality of the repetitive pattern of the word “Urdu” around the Nuqta becomes a symbol of a flower, a child’s pinwheel, or fireworks bringing a burst of joy and light.