recently i saw this kid twirling a book on his finger. this reminded me of the many small yet brilliant abilities each person seems to innately possess. there used to be this guy in school who could twirl a pen like a baton with just 2 fingers. while i now know that baton tricks are "talents" that may decide if one beautiful girl deserves a crown and a sash more than another equally beautiful one, back then it was just plain cool. after desperate begging and giving him half my lunch everyday for a month , he acquiesced to teach me. formal training began and everyday (after lunch of course) i would sit there trying without much success while guruji supervised. he would teach the fine points of holding the pen exactly 2/3rds of the way from the bottom and then give it a subtle flick so it made one complete revolution. several teachers never knew i was in their class for i used to spend most of the class under the desk hunting for the pen that seemed to be repulsed by the sight of my fingers.
i quickly got bored with it when we discovered that rulers while to outside appearances looked like measuring devices, also possessed latent musical talents when mated with the desk and twanged. we were probably the first to form a band comprised entirely of ruler-wielding maestros. wooden ones, plastic ones, short 6-inch ones and the big, bad foot-longers all produced sweet cacophony during recess.(don't take my word for it, do your own thing here ..just turn up the volume) .the rebellious among our band even risked it by practising when a teacher was expounding on the volume of a sphere and were de-scaled in front of the whole class.
so there was a talent, there was a band. all that was needed to complete this circus was animals and we didnt lack those either. the unsuspecting ants that came hunting for morsels spilt on the desks were quickly ensnared and sent to the far away other side of the desk. there they were trained repeatedly to climb the dizzying heights of a pencil while some worked on the delicate balancing act of hanging from the underside of a paper. one particularly super acrobat could do both and actually had me wishing school could go on longer beyond the final bell.
needless to say the circus broke up when we left school to pursue more "stable" careers. all that talent, all that practice a waste. i still twirl a pen now and then at work trying to get it right but there are no ants to train on my desk.
no ants, beautiful girls or fingers were harmed during the writing of this blog. a few scales did break when we exceeded the material's tensile strength