Wise Yogi, Business Woman, Kerala, India
I met Mrs. Thomas in San Francisco, where she proudly bragged on her daughters and shared charming family stories. For this mother, having her children dispersed all over United States is a source of pride but also worry. Lobi lives in Kerala, India where she keeps the house, having retired now for years. She practices yoga (executing perfect headstand at the end of every practice), walks every day, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health news. Lobi is very modest in her answers below, so it is only fitting to thank a little birdie for convincing her mother to participate in WOW WOMAN.
My name is Lobi Thomas.
2. Where is your hometown?
3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?
I am a housewife.
4. What was the journey like to get where you are (in life and career wise)? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I had a great career in an unlikely professional environment. I was a chemist, and performed water analysis in a mineral water company in Dubai in the 80s. My husband was hired as a general manager, just as the city was developing. At the time most water came from a natural spring far outside the city. As a result we lived in a remote place, in the mountains. My job was to collect water, perform raw chemical analyses, and sterilize water with ozone which at the time was a new technology. We then held water for about a week to eliminate bacteria, and re-tested one last time before bottling for consumption. I was the only woman working at the time, and it was wonderful. I had great working hours and was handsomely compensated. Although my husband was my boss, it worked out OK. We ended up travelling all over Middle East, Europe, and saw the world. It was wonderful.
5. What did you study in school?
I received my degree in physical chemistry from a university in Chennai, India. I additionally studied and can speak five languages (plus English).
6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?
I am a happy person with three beautiful, kind and loving daughters.
7. What was your biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?
Only disappointment I had to face was pain my daughter went through and her divorce.
8. Advice for other women?
Face the problems in your life with courage and move on with positive attitude. Stay active. Walk every day for an hour, followed by stretching. You must stretch!
9. Knowing what we know now in current political climate, can women be "all that we can be" in today's world? What is the way forward, as you see it for "feminist values"?
I think the way forward is to not feel discouraged.
10. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?
My happy place is with my children. I also love to travel and see places. Overall I prefer countryside to a city, and love my quiet house in India, with a lush garden and all the variety of plants. I get a calm and peaceful feeling there.
11. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?
I sew dresses to keep my hands occupied. My prescription for clear mind is Sudoku and yoga, every day! That is a health-must for keeping your mind young. I get so much happiness out of it. As for keeping body strong: yoga again... you produce endorphins when you practice yoga. It helps with stress relief, and trust me I know, I've been doing it for over 50 years. I don't miss a day (except Sundays, when I do chores). It's become part of my everyday routine, and is my energy source. I tell everybody, when you do yoga, you don't feel aches and pains in your bones and joints. The practice prevents health problems. Additionally, I also enjoy keeping up with the medical updates and read medical journals and publications.
12. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?
My goal is to think positively and be happy in whatever situation life throws at me. Another goal of mine is to travel more. Travelling alone is a bit nerve-wrecking and may feel insecure, so I prefer to travel with company (my daughters hopefully).
13. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
Fears of health problems that may come up in the future.
14. Anything you'd do differently if you had another go at life?
I would live with my children and make them happy.
15. What inspires you?
My children; watching them succeed with their careers and with their families. This inspires me very much.
16. What are you hopeful about?
I hope to live happily and continue having good health. I strive for that with exercise and maintaining good eating habits.
17. What are some ingredients to a good life?
Think positively, make others happy, exercise, eat wholesome food (to maintain your health), read and do puzzles (to keep brain engaged).
18. What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
Study well and never get disappointed, no matter what they do or say to you.
19. What are you reading now?
I read medical literature, to keep up-to-date with the latest research.
20. Who is a WOW Woman in your world who inspires you and why? Can you nominate three women you know who perfectly fit WOW WOMAN description?
Mother Teresa was an epitome of a WOW Woman.
21. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?
In India, at home, enjoying my quiet and peaceful garden. :)