‘This is the story of the ‘spinners’ of Vellore. Spinning tops, also called ‘pambaram’ (Tamil) or ‘Latoo’ (Hindi) is a popular toy for children, all around the world . I was on a walk through the many streets of Vellore, yet unknown to me, when I stumbled upon the construction site where these children were at play with their spinning tops. They met me with great enthusiasm and wanted me to shoot them at play. This is a series of images (both color and B&W) from that evening.
This is the group- from the novice to the more experienced.. the toothy one in the center is the novice.. He hasn’t learned the great art yet, but hopes to become a star one day. The ones in the back row are all experienced, particularly the one in the center.
The game of spin top involves winding a thick thread(often colored) over the handle of the top …
They know quite a few moves, including picking up the rapidly spinning top from the ground with their hand and the thread, and keep it spinning on their hands. One of them even picked it up with the thread and flung it up in between his legs and caught it. The only comparison for that in sport is the ‘between the legs’ shot by Roger Federer.
They wanted me to show me the champion of the game amongst them and ran to get him. This is the guy who does the ‘between the legs’ top with ease. When he came, everyone just stopped to watch him do his thing.