Not Just A Spinning Top


Spinning tops, what do they mean to you? Most of us think they’re toys, which they in fact are, but I see more in these simple spinning contraptions than what they seem. If you have the mind for it, you’ll see an entire life story in these relatively cheap toys. Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m some weird geek trying to explain the physics behind these toys in a horribly poetic attempt. well, my lab coat’s off to laundry today.

I woke up in the morning and was drinking some coffee to kick-start my day as I was spinning a wooden top that I got from my recent visit to Mysore. To me, it’s an interesting sight to see a top spin, all those thoughts that run through my head as I see it go round and round on its tip. If you gave your rational mind a break, it almost seems magical how it stays upright, spinning and that’s an intriguing feeling. Why else would I have come back with only wooden tops traveling nearly 300 kilometers? Anyway, here’s what went down with that fading cup of coffee…

I gave it a good swirl with my index and thumb holding the stem and got it spinning, just like our parents hold our hands while we cross the road, help us grow up, shows us what the world around us; so later in life, we can take care of ourselves.
I see it trembling to stabilize, initially. It’s all over the coffee table. Just like how we struggle to deal with the world as we grow up, the innumerable wrong decisions and mistakes we commit out of naivety and all the suffering that comes along.
Then I see it giving it all the energy it’s got to stand tall, keep spinning and hold it steady, not a shake, calm as a sniper. It’s still a hair away from falling apart, but it’s learned to control the situation, most importantly. Just like how we gain experience as we grow older and learn to handle things better. Eventually, we will get to our deserved destinations. But, what’s important is to keeping trying and giving it everything you can. You’ll be surprised to see what you can achieve with persistence and determination, just to echo all the successful people out there.
Now I see the top slowly losing its energy to the mighty forces of physics which can’t be tamed even by the men who discovered them. I see it slowing down, wobbling, lost of pace, it’s struggling hard to keep it’s balance, it’s going to collapse, I knew it and it did. Just like how all of us go from little playful kids to stupid adolescents and then learn from our pasts to become young responsible men and women with dreams to achieve and by the time we are done living the kind of life we hoped to, we’re already old, probably too old to even keep ourselves standing on our own feet; and eventually, we have to face death losing it to the might laws of nature which can’t be rewritten even by the philosophers who nurtured and adored it.

It’s not just a spinning top, it’s a life story.

Anjan Babu


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