Street Games Of India: Latoo
I had to wait till I was over ten before I learnt the skill of spinning a lattoo or top. This game requires a deft hand. Also, enough pocket money to buy the beautiful tops of burnt earth, or lacquered wood, with a pin at the bottom. A string is wrapped round the lower part of the lattoo. This is tossed with a hard jerk before being released into the hard earth by the string, to spin and spin and spin. The boy whose lattoo spins longest in the winner.
I remember saving up my pocket money for days to buy my first lattoo. But disaster! I swung it clumsily and the beautiful earthen top broke. Afterwards, I practiced with a small wooden one and so learnt to toss the beautiful earthen top. But I never acquired the knack of properly tossing the biggest earthen lattoos, or the heaviest wooden ones. I admired those who were champions at the game and gambled heavily in the lattoo tournaments.