Pradodh Parikh
Upon Viewing Tyeb Mehta’s Paintings

Someone’s gone away without a sound
with a spasm of panic through the window of the atmosphere
flown the encampment of deafening silence.

Someone’s come here wearing the mask of silence
and has balanced himself on my fingertip,
flowed in from a district across the border,
snapped awake, after crossing the boundary of dawn.

Here someone’s descended the stairs of the step-well.
Here someone’s crossed the desert province and come running,
uprooted by the blast of desolation.

Here travelers arrive with shoulder-loads of echoes:
gypsies who have camped together for generations,
part ways here.

Morning and evening, the hours here are festive.
Someone comes here without a sound.

Translated from the Gujarti by Naushil Mehta and Ranjit Hoskote.