Basir Sultan Kazmi
Finding One’s Place

Everyone settles at last, each in their own place.
No one can stay for long in someone else’s place.

Everyone must find and build a place of their own,
even if it seems they have a ready-made place.

The heart and the glance that were parted for so long,
met again today at an old rendezvous place.

Where all are content in their own respective space—
in my imagination there is such a place.

There is no charm here in living, or in dying
Who counseled you to inhabit another’s place?

I grumble about you, but there is also love.
There is room for both—each has its distinctive place.

It’s not easy to discover an heir to Qais;
for much too long this has remained a vacant place.

That site of which you have been neglectful, Basir—
that is none other than your own space, your true place.

Translated from the Urdu by Debjani Chatterjee.

Note: Qais or Majnoon was the legendary star-crossed lover of Leila.