Imagine walking into a store and watching a craftsman work with gleaming gold threads, as he peers over a rickety handloom, using techniques that are almost as old as time itself. Each of these Banarasi sarees, he says, takes him anywhere from two weeks to six months to complete. The know-how has been passed down to him from his forefathers. It is one that he learned simply by watching his family when he was just a boy. In the 21st century, this scene may seem like it belongs to a black-and-white reel played in a museum. But this ancient craft of weaving Banarasi silk sarees can still be glimpsed in a handful of silk emporiums in Varanasi.