Ananda Family News

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Farewell Concert for Dambara and Manisha

On Sunday, we celebrated a remarkably enjoyable sad occasion. (Tough to do, yes, but we’re professionals.) Dambara and Manisha are moving to Laurelwood, and so we brought everybody together for farewells with an after-service concert.

We started with a sandwich bar lunch in the courtyard, along with carrot cake (for Dambara’s coincidental birthday), AUMs, blessings, and neither the first nor the last rendition of “Go With Love.” And then it was back into the temple for the concert proper.

In an effort to squeeze every last bit of song out of Dambara that we possibly can, we naturally packed the program with him. His solos ranged from classic favorites (“I Wonder as I Wander,” “To Death I’m a Stranger”) to more recent favorites (“Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”) to seldom- or never-heard songs of Swami’s brought out for the occasion (“Melody’s Everywhere,” “Wartime Lullaby,” and more). He managed to work in a barbershop number with the guys, too.

The “Most Adorable” award, however, goes to the Dambara-Manisha duet, when they sang “Divine Friendship,” the song they skipped in their wedding ceremony 12 years ago because they weren’t sure they’d be able to make it through. Well, unfinished karmic tests have a way of cycling back around, and I’m pleased to report that our dear couple is just ever so slightly more married now.

As nothing is too good for our friends, this concert was not even limited to solely musical content. Saranya recited a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar which has to be heard to be appreciated — reading alone won’t do it. And our intrepid choir put on their dancing shoes and performed Pavani’s recent choreography to “Mañana, Friends.” Check out the video!

If you’re wondering what the off-camera laughter is towards then end, some of the singers were flinging roses, like joy, at Dambara as he sang. For further vicarious experiences, we’ve got some photos and even a full-concert mp3 you can listen to.

Dambara and Manisha will be greatly missed by all their Palo Alto friends and gurubhais. (The line for goodbye hugs filled the church aisle for an hour after the concert ended.) But we’re happy for them in their joyful, expansive transition, and we know the Portland-Laurelwood community has a lot to look forward to with the two of them up there.

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