March 2001

Gotham Chopra has been meditating since the age of four, which is not surprising, his father is the New Age healer, lecturer, and guru Deepak Chopra.  Gotham has authored several books including Child of the Dawn: A Magical Journey of Awakening, cocreated a short-lived comic book, Bulletproof Monk, now optioned for a movie.  He wears other hats as well, executive producer and cofounder of 5K Films, and an anchor for Channel One, an educational television network that reaches over 12,000 schools across the country daily.  Gotham takes a breather from working on his next tome Familiar Strangers to discuss why a condom isn't necessary on a first date and why his heart belongs to mom.

If you received a million dollars, how would you spend it?
I'd travel and take a camera with me to document the sites I'd see and the people I'd meet.  I'd go to forgotten places, war-torn places, shadowlands, and seek out their citizens.  I'd tell their stories.

How has the AIDS epidemic changed the way you think about life and death?
In the past decade, my most formative years, we have lost so many loving and talented people to the AIDS epidemic.  But their spirit endures and that has proved to me that this life is just a stranger that comes, smiles (hopefully), and goes but not without leaving its print for the rest of us to learn from.

Which living person do you most admire?
My mom.  Because she's the living example of every valuable principle I've ever been taught my entire life.  She's unconditionally compassionate and warm and cool beyond compare.

How do you dress for a first date, and where do you carry your condom?
On the heels of the mother answer...I'm a pretty casual guy and I'm not good at faking it, so whatever's cool and clean.  Jeans, a sweater, and Prada shoes if I can track them down.  As for the condom, I'd never be so presumptuous to take one out on the first date, it's a surefire jinx.

Would you rather have a new VW Toon car, or a Turbo Porsche 911?
Neither, actually.  I'm a big black jeep type of guy.  I'm a pretty small guy and I ride big cars better.

Gotham Chopra

Have you ever tried any alternative therapies as opposed to Western medicine?
What do you think?  Yes, you name it, I've done it.  Most notably, meditation, yoga, massage therapy, and Ayurveda.

Would you rather have a Big Mac or an array of Chinese vegetables?
Most likely the Chinese vegetables but there are some nights the Big Mac is absolutely necessary.  Sorry Dad.

Name one of your bad habits.
I get lots of parking tickets and I rarely pay them on time.

If you had a choice to have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?
Lord Krishna.  He was a man of wisdom, passion, a lover, a warrior, full of mischief and mysticism.  Or Carmen Electra, is she historical?

Who is your favorite star?
I'll see anything with Batman in it.  After all, he's from my hood, Gotham City.

When you get into bed at night, do you wear pajamas, nightshirt, undies, or nothing at all?
I'm a boxers and T-shirt guy.

What can we do to help during this ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis?
We can care.  Sometimes the most valuable thing we can give someone, a stranger, is a nod, a wink, and a silent prayer.


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