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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Best Adhesive in the World

Jai Rajbhandari, a devoted soul who has never missed an opportunity to show up at Janabahaa for the littlest of excuses since the time he became the master of his own conscience, says that the combination of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener makes the strongest glue in the world.

Jai Rajbhandari in a pensive mood during one of the many planning meetings at Janabahaa.

Jai must be right. After all, he is a chemical engineer trained in UK and Hungary, and is an avid environmentalist. Originating from the heart of Asan, he is also the owner of half a dozen varied businesses – and a highly successful one at that – including one that promotes green energy to help reduce the cost of everyday life for every household in the country.

The stone craftsmen from Chovaa blend the resin and hardener, purchased in the local market, in a predefined proportion, and apply a thin film of the mixture to the stone surface that needs repair. And then they add hand-crushed stone dust to the epoxy mix and give it a good whipping to make a fine dough. The dough is then carefully spread on top of the epoxy coating applied earlier.

Several hours later, after the dough attains the right hardening, the expert craftsmen chisel thorough it to try and bring back the centuries-old original shape of the cheevah (chaitya or stupa or chorten) before it deteriorated to the present form due to gross disregard, carelessness and even misconduct by the people who were supposed to be the very sentinels of these priceless treasures.

A video that aims to be the tutorial on “how to repair a Buddhist cheevah in two weeks” will be uploaded right here on this blog soon.

Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

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