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Building a Symphony

Brigade group has built one of the largest interactive music museums - the Indian Music Experience (IME)- at their residential project Brigade Millennium in 2018

From left: Pavitra Shankar, MR Jaishankar, Nirupa Shankar and Githa Shankar From left: Pavitra Shankar, MR Jaishankar, Nirupa Shankar and Githa Shankar

Life is a symphony for the family of M.R. Jaishankar, Chairman and Managing Director of Bengaluru-based real estate developer Brigade Group. His daughter Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director of the group, says their everyday life begins with Western retro music playing from the parents' room in the morning and ends with old Hindi songs at night, with parents signing along.

"Every holiday we took, our parents would try and find a musical event to attend, such as a performance by the philharmonic orchestra," she adds. Nirupa and her elder sister Pavitra, who is also Executive Director, were trained in classical music at a very young age. Both have had solo performances in interschool competitions.

While studying at the University of Virginia, Pavitra was part of an acapella group (those who sing without instruments). Nirupa, too, took classes in Western classical masterpieces and even bluegrass music, a genre popular in Virginia.

Their love for music also spilled over to the business as well. Brigade group has built one of the largest interactive music museums - the Indian Music Experience (IME)- at their residential project Brigade Millennium in 2018. Shankar's wife Githa spearheaded the project, which took nine years to complete, with funding from Brigade Foundation that she heads.

IME was created for protecting, preserving and educating the public about the legacy of India's rich music and heritage. The exhibition features music collection, instruments, costumes of legends, listening stations and interpretive graphic panels that chronicle the life and work of celebrated artistes. Other attractions include mechanised puppet displays and folk art murals. IME has a sound garden for explaining musical sounds as well.

The museum has had over 40,000 visitors, including school children, families and tourists, so far.