PALMA CEIA — Marianne Prinkey hugs the woman wrapped in a sari one last time. Then Shusmita Anis, with loose dark hair and chandelier earrings, grabs her harmonium and steps out of the PrinWall Entertainment studio.
Prinkey holds back tears behind those big, square glasses.
"I feel like a part of my life is leaving," Prinkey says. "She's just top drawer."
The coach and her 42-year-old student began voice lessons in October. Prinkey said Anis' renditions of traditional Bangladeshi songs likened her to the Barbra Streisand of the country in southern Asia. But Anis decided to move her family permanently to her native Bangladesh. There, she sings and plays her harmonium for recorded shows on TV networks like Bangla Vision.
June 11 was their last session in the room with Judy Garland posters, although their lessons will continue online via Skype.
Prinkey, who usually teaches kids up to age 16, said Anis has improved in months the way some singers struggle to do in 10 years. Her voice raised nearly an octave.
Ileana Morales, Times staff writer