Gotham Chopra: The Chopras meet President Obama + Decoding Deepak Trailer (video)

On a plane right now flying back to the left coast from NYC after attending a fundraiser yesterday evening and getting the chance to meet and have a picture taken with President Obama. My dad was one of the hosts at a colorful downtown fundraiser that raised several millions dollars for the President’s re-election campaign. In exchange for my dad’s patriotic pledge, the family – kids and grandkids – got to skip most of the lines and get a few minutes with Mr. Obama. The highlight for me was my son trash talking the President – a noted Chicago Bulls fan – by saying “Go Celtics!”

Not missing a beat, President Obama smiled and playfully chided: “I’ve heard the rumors there’s brainwashing going on in the Chopra household, but wasn’t aware that it was that bad…” Now that’s a story I’ll file away for keepsake.

But truth be told, that file is pretty full. Through the years, very often directly or indirectly on account of who my father is, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many illustrious folks – from Presidents (Clinton before Obama) to prophets (His Holiness probably the most noted) to athletes, celebrities, billionaires and many more. I have more amazing anecdotes than I can count involving legendary icons like Michael Jacksons, Madonna, and many many more.

And yet, occasionally I wonder how much of a privilege it all really is. Don’t worry: I’m wary of going down that cliched boohoo path and asking you to feel sorry for how great my life really is. I fully realize how amazing I’ve had it and how fortunate I am to be able to now pass it on to my own son. But where I get confused some times – more times than not if I really thing about it – is what it really is. What is this strange life I lead? Of spiritualists, sages, scientists, and celebrities that cluster around my father all searching for something – namely purpose, meaning, and significance.¬†Amidst this nebulous cloud of celebrity and success that constantly surrounds us is much bigger question of identity: who we are, why we’re here, what it’s all about.

At times in my life, I’ve felt closer to some of the answers of these questions. Like a lot of people, when I had my first child, I felt a wave of meaning and purpose wash over me. It was blissful and every so often when I’m just hanging out with my now 4 year old, I get that same feeling of total satisfaction again. But…it’s fleeting, because just as often I lay awake at night wondering whether I am really doing what I was meant to do in this world, struggling with why it is I so often feel a nagging dissatisfaction with life in general. And then, when I read the news, watch documentaries about wars in foreign lands, horrible human rights violations, torture, and incredible social injustice, I become even more confused about this strange life I lead.

What is the real value of so much access to the planet’s elite, so much insight into the deeper mechanics of the Universe if it all doesn’t add up to something transformative and profound? Something that can make a real difference to the millions of people suffering around the world every single day? What if it just creates an even more confused contradiction, a larger sense of emptiness and insignificance?

The fascinating thing is that after spending a year or so on the road traveling around the world with my dad and documenting his life, I started to discover that he too struggles with a lot of these same questions. In moments of candor and vulnerability, he confessed confusion about who he is, what he thinks he”s here for, and how much he’s really doing. So, amidst this life of occasional presidential portraits and endless powerful moments, to know my father – the great guru that the world comes to for answers to all their questions – is himself often asking the same questions I am, that we all are, how should that make me feel? How should that make you feel?

My answer: I have no idea.

I am happy to share an exclusive peek at  my new film, Decoding Deepak, with Intent readers below. The film will premiere at SXSW next week.

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About Gotham Chopra

Gotham Chopra is a multi-media voice on issues of spirituality, culture, and news. As an anchor for Channel One News -- an in-school educational news broadcast seen daily by upwards of 8 million American students -- Gotham reported from Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, China, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Colombia, Russia, Chechnya, Mexico, Honduras, all across Europe and the United States. He has interviewed a wide range of Global leaders -- from President Bush to the Dalai Lama to associates and foot soldiers of Osama Bin Laden. He has hosted events as diverse as the Pope's pep rally in St. Louis to the action at the fifty-yard line at the Superbowl. Gotham's global assignments have sent him on patrol with anti-militant commando units in war torn Kashmir and had him detained by secret police in China, Iran, and Pakistan. Gotham is the author of Familiar Strangers (Random House 2002) -- a non-fiction and spiritual chronicle of his travels and encounters at the frontlines of areas in conflict and transition. Gotham served as Story Editor on the Bulletproof Monk -- a comic book about bullets, monks, gangs, and seekers. He also served as Executive Producer of the feature Film with John Woo's Lion Rock Films and MGM Studios, which appeared in theaters in 2003. He is also author of Child of the Dawn, a novel published in 1996 and translated in 13 languages internationally. He recorded The Mythical Lover on A Gift of Love -- a recording of sensual poetry by the 13th Century poet Rumi, and has served as researcher and lyrical advisor to Michael Jackson on the multi-platinum albums Dangerous and HIStory. He has also served as Producer on television specials for PBS. As co-founder of 5K Entertainment, Gotham wrote, is producing, and will direct the indy feature Swindle. He is also the co-creator of K Lounge -- a Kama Sutra bar and lounge in New York City with more to launch internationally in 2005. As co-founder of Chopra Media and a partner in Intent Media (with Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur), Gotham is involved in a wide-array of creative media ventures. He is the President of development for Gotham Studios Asia, the largest comic book studio in India. Currently Gotham is serving as creative consultant to Current TV, a new television network co-founded by former Vice-President Al Gore, and scheduled to launch in 20 million American households in August 2005. Identified by Newsweek Magazine (March 04) as one of the "most powerful and influential" South Asians worth watching, Gotham speaks nationally on issues of youth and spirituality, conflict resolution, and develops workshops to create a language for young people to bring out the internal and external issues that important to them.

Comments

  1. Really want to see this new film :) Sound interresting ! where can i buy it or see it ? i'm from Quebec – Canada

  2. after watching 3 times – Gotham Congrats – down to earth – good to see an honest moment with Deepak –
    Lovingly,
    Ed
    (aka) Swami Brahmananda

  3. Thanks for your honesty. It seems that the questions your father and you ask are part of the experience of being human which seeks validation for what we do so that we can keep feeling like we are an "I Am". Perhaps the truth is that we do what we do and whether it has an influence or not, whether it helps or not, whether it changes the world or not…..is not for us to know or decide or have validated. That is the domain of the Field beyond the human experience, Love, God, Divine….. perhaps our highest perspective to be grateful for the opportunity to be where we are, to exist and to allow the Grace to flow through us….the outcome is not for us to know.