Monday, January 12, 2009


Playing with tops was my pastime when I was young. I made my own tops using guava wood. You need skill to carve a top out of the hard wood. After that, I smoothened the surface with the edge of one of the thick glass fragments thrown onto the top of coconut tree stumps by my parents. Then it was the job of driving a nail into the lower tip of the top. The nail had to be driven in vertically erect and not sideways so that balance could be achieved when it was spun. It was not an easy job to do that. The top was tested for stability when it spun and the nail hammmered to alter its position until it could spin smoothly.

Top-spinning was popular among my childhood friends. We used to 'pangkah' (split the top of the opponent) my friends' spinning tops. At other times we would see whose top could spin the longest.