Today we went with Ishani's father to see interesting sites in the city of Guwahati.
First we went to a family-owned weaving factory and shop. The owners are the parents of Ishani's friend Papori, who is at the University of MN getting a PhD in Women's Studies.
We were able to observe the intricate weaving of silk saris. The workers are extremely skilled. At this location, the weaving of the saris is done, then there is a storefront where customers come and purchase the fabrics. Then there is a small tailoring shop where the saris are finished for each customer. Most of the customers preorder and the saris are custom-made. This is where Ishani's wedding sari came from.
Later in the afternoon, we went to a fishing preserve to see migratory birds. It is still in the city of Guwahati, but it seems much more rural. Most of the houses around the preserve had vegetable gardens including banana trees, mango and papaya trees and things we recognized like green beans, squash, etc.
On the way back, we stopped at a temple called Balaji which is dedicated to Vishnu.
Finally, we stopped at the sweet shop that is owned and operated by Ishani's mom. It is a very busy shop--lots of customers and lots of orders for weddings. We went to the back of the shop to see where the sweets are made. It was not in operation yet because the milk delivery had not come. The cooks work all night making the sweets so that they are fresh each morning. For all our Indian friends, you are right that the sweets do taste much better fresh, but Mike and I still aren't big fans. (We love all the other foods though!