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About Restoration

Restoration work in progress in the Ghalib Academy Oct 2022

We have seen our father sit for hours and days together with hundreds of sea stones, collecting them, checking on their shapes and sizes, reciting Galib’s verses and fantasizing, synthesizing a frame to fit them together as one couplet, his “pitching & point chisel” working together with the sand paper delicately and continuously on  each grain of stone, unveiling  the figures he visualized ….

It was his unique talent to make the stones speak.

But time and tide has a toll on everything tangible; and life needed to be rekindled in the withering pieces which had been so meticulously assembled  as a creative endeavor and passion for poetry, by our  father.

Close to Mr Syal’s  heart was his work  and a need to restore them to their former glory was pertinent.

September 2022,  the daughter’s of Mr Brijender Syal, Galib Academy Secretary Dr Aqil Ahmad and Ms Bushra Begum  started and  supported this endeavor and  desired to restore & catalogue all stones.

Emotionally charged, sitting on a small wooden table, using the same tools  was nostalgic for them.

The work began with a personal touch & passion…. it was as if  “Syalji” stood there guiding ….


  1. Carefully identifying the stone compositions which were broken or stones displaced, bases withered or parts missing.
  2. Each was placed with its couplet and picture.
  3. Tools used : point chisel , sandpaper 80-to 120 grit & 360 –to 600 grit , thinner, feviquick, fevicol, m-seal, sand & small sand stones of different shapes, white quick cement, varnish, different  types of brushes, paint black, tiles, cotton swaps plus cloth, palette.
  4. Each stone was dusted delicately with different brushes & thinner was  used to clean the  base. Care was taken so as not to cause abrasion to the surface or the stones.
  5. Some stones had to be cleared off of accumulated  former glue or adhesive with sandpaper and chiseled with delicate careful precision so as not to damage the beautiful piece and leave it in its original form.
  6. Next step was to carefully join them (incase broken) with different adhesives depending on the type and weight of the stone. This took time, sometimes hours !
  7. Some tile bases needed to be changed as they were completely broken …. Absolute care was taken ensuring no piece lost  its originality. Some needed varnishing and a dash of base paint too.
  8. Each composition was catalogued.
  9. It took weeks to restore 38 compositions and the process is on ….!
  10. There are nearly 300 such pieces. Many need attention!