If it wasn't for dogs, some people would never go for a walk. --anonymous
Gotham Chopra considers himself a pretty average guy. He devours pizza, lives and dies by his hometown teams, and watches Kung Fu Panda with his son--daily. But his childhood wasn't quite so average. Growing up, Gotham was exposed to the deepest reservoirs of knowledge that his famous father, Deepak, could find; his childhood was part ...
If it wasn't for dogs, some people would never go for a walk.
Gotham Chopra considers himself a pretty average guy. He devours pizza, lives and dies by his hometown teams, and watches Kung Fu Panda with his son--daily. But his childhood wasn't quite so average. Growing up, Gotham was exposed to the deepest reservoirs of knowledge that his famous father, Deepak, could find; his childhood was part spiritual, part scientific, and totally unique. Now a newly minted father himself, he's contemplating the influences he wants to draw on for his own son. The first was no surprise: his father. The second was unexpected: his dogs.
From Nicholas, the blaze of energy and anarchy who turned the family upside down, to Cleo, a rescue mutt with food issues, the Chopra dogs taught the family about curiosity and wisdom, open-mindedness and passion, not to mention loyalty and pig's ears. But what else, Gotham wondered? And how did these lessons compare to the ones that Deepak himself imparted?
Gotham would soon find out. When his mother took an unexpected trip to India and leaves instructions to look after Papa, father and son have an opportunity for male bonding on a big scale. That this bonding takes place on their daily walks seems almost natural. After all, Gotham also had in his care a nervous dog and an exuberant toddler, both with an insatiable need for exercise and exploration. So Gotham and Deepak walk and talk, discussing the laughs and licks that come with having a dog, along with the contradictions, complexities, and consequences of having children. They soon realize the qualities they observe and admire most in their pets are values we humans would do well to nurture within ourselves. They discover that our best friends have a lot to teach us.
Gotham and Deepak's message may seem simple, but therein lies its brilliance. Heartfelt, endearing, and above all down to earth, Walking Wisdom offers readers both enlightenment and comfort, with a little bit of mayhem thrown in for good measure.
The Chopras present some life lessons through a dog's point of view in a charming new book. As Deepak's grandson Gotham engages the neighbor's dog in a blissful game of fetch, Deepak sagely observes: "What we witnessed is play and innocence at its best," or, as Gotham put it: "Dogs innately understand not just the desire for play but also the need." Chopra takes us on a series of events affecting the Chopra households, including a hilarious cross-country plane trip with an untranquilized dog, an expensive trip to Italy, and the events surrounding an elderly relative's grave illness. Along the way, we learn the valuable lessons that man's best friend can teach us: "dogs–like the universe-don't hold grudges. They forgive and evolve." The younger Chopra even relates an incident in which his dog was a better judge of character than he was. The one sour note is a lengthy detour on Michael Jackson, whose death occurs while Gotham is on a bike trip in Italy, contributing little to the book. That aside, this glimpse into the softer side of the Chopra family should significantly expand the family's fan base. (Oct.)
Gotham Chopra has had his hand in many projects, from writing graphic novels like Bulletproof Monk to advising lyrics for Michael Jackson's songs. He is an award-winning journalist and documentary maker, and most recently he was involved in the formation of Al Gore's CurrentTV. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife, his young son, and their dog.