Thursday, November 22, 2012

Left handers and Handwriting Analysis- Is there something distinctive here ?

One of the readers of my blog- Mr. Rajat S commented the following on one of my blogs-

1. Are the handwriting traits specific to left-handed people? Is it possible that the same writing style should be interpreted differently depending on whether the person is left/right handed?
 2. Are their significant writing traits that are common to left handed people in general?
 Curious to know since Obama himself is a left-handed guy.
There are valid question given the fact that many studies suggest that 70-90% of the World population is Right-handed. Left handed people are for sure a rarity in this world. 

The above question is quite common and there is a reason to it. As i have observed, some of the left-handers have the tendency to write the strokes from up towards down and generally the right-handers write from down to up strokes. If you are a right hander, just observe how you write a letter say "A". In most probability, you will start from the left bottom part and move up. While some left-handers due to the grip they use, might tend to start from the top most point in the letter "A" and go down, lift the pen, go up and complete the stroke. These basic differences sometimes gives an impression to the people that there might be some different traits associated with the left-handers

The answer to the question posed by the gentleman in my blog is a simple No. There aren't any handwriting traits specific to the left-handed people.

The search for this answer really takes me to the basics of the handwriting analysis which stresses that hands are just a vehicle to write something but the way the strokes gets formed come straight from one's brain. Handwriting Analysis has a basis in neuro-science. In simpler terms, it means that various personality traits are represented by different unique neuro-pathways in one's brains. When we write these pathways gets transmitted into the various strokes via the nervous system.
 Now, i may not have used the accurate biological terms to explain this but i do hope that it gives you an idea about the role of the hands in writing. In some literature, one's handwriting is also referred to as "brain-writing" for the reasons mentioned above.

Image Source: 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

President Pranab Mukherjee and the case of signature forgery- What's the potential truth ?

What had happened ?
Pranab Mukherjee became India's 13th President in July 2012. He was the nominee from the ruling party of India (UPA) and he contested the Presidential elections againstthe opposition party's (NDA) candidate- P.A. Sangma. This election procedure became quite high profile and was in news for couple of months before Pranab finally winning the battle. But the whole episode didn't end there with P.A. Sangma questioning the fairness of the way whole elections were conducted and even moved Supreme court contesting the same.
Sangma had on August 21 moved the Supreme Court challenging Pranab Mukherjee's election as the President, contending he was holding offices of profit and hence not eligible to contest for the post. Apparently, Pranab was the Chairman of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) "prior" (matter sub judice) to filing his nomination as an presidential candidate. According to him he had submitted his resignation to concerned ISI authorities prior to filing his nomination and this was not holding any office of profit. Opposition claimed that Pranab's signature in his ISI resignation were forged and that implies that he didnt himself resign and could be that some one else filed the resignation and that too beyond the nomination date. Thats what the core of matter is.

Pranab Mukherjee's signature on ISI resignation letter:

Pranab Mukherjee's usual signatures:

Some characteristics of Pranab Mukherjee's signature on ISI resignation letter:
If we have a closer look at the signature sample, some things to notice there-
1. The signature does not have a second name written. It just has a first name.
2. The signature for the most part seems illegible i.e. hardly readable. Except for the starting letter "P" and the presence of a letter having lower loop, there is hardly anything else thats really readable. 
3. The signature is written in almost straight baseline.

In the search of truth...
In one of my previous write-ups, i had written- "a handwriting sample of an individual reveals his core personality traits and the signature reveals the projected public personality traits." So a signature of a person at its core represents how a person wishes to be seen in public. With this background in mind, lets further delve in.
In his defense to the charges raised by Sangma in court, Pranab had resorted back as-
"The petitioner, as many people do, on some occasions signs his letters as PK Mukherjee and on formal documents, appends his signature as his full name- Pranab Mukherjee. The signature on the resignation letter is his short signature,"

This response clarifies above listed  characteristic# 1 i.e. the Signature sample in ISI resignation letter actually represents the name "PK Mukherjee" and not just the first name. That explains the presence of letter with lower loop i.e. the first name "Pranab" does not have any lower loop letter but the second name "Mukherjee" does have one ("j").

I did note that most part of this signature is not legible i.e. not readable and that denotes in absolute terms that a person does not want to show to the outer world, what traits or personality is he actually made up of. After seeing much of Pranab Mukherjee in public life and he being literally the face of UPA, refuting all the charges and allegations, its quite hard to fathom that someone in that position and role would deliberately not let the world know what stuff he is made up of from within. That too knowing that he was in the public life for more than 60 years. He is quite an imposing personality and is known in the political circles for his straight-forwardness. It may seem that i am tending to be skewed towards this being a forged signature as is alleged but there is a lot more that needs to be looked into before concluding the same.

Having more than one signature is probably legally allowed  but it does lead to all sorts of confusion as can be seen in this case being discussed. Its quite hard to believe why a person of Pranab's authority and position would want to have more than 1 signature. Remember he was India's finance minister before becoming the President and that position also would have required Pranab to sign large number of documents. This statement probably have an answer to the question i.e. some people would probably want to have short signature because being a signing authority with a job of approving and signing large number of documents, they would tend to use short signatures to lessen the stress that comes with repetition. And this sounds absolutely reasonable.
This source talks about another reason for people opting for more than one signature and it says-
More than one signature : If possible try to have more than one signature, one is for legal purpose and rest is for other purposes. Because if we use only one signature at everywhere, there will be more chances available to cheaters or fraudsters to get you signature easily.

Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration in this case is hurriedness while writing the Signature. When a person is signing frequently or is in some sort of a hurried state of mind, it is quite likely that he/she may not be able to reproduce all the parts of signature as is usually done. Consider the case of any famous personality giving autographs to hundreds of fans gathered. Will all the signatures be exactly the same in this situation ? Most likely not. I know this situation is not same as the case of Pranab but what warrants more thinking is the state in which he wrote the ISI resignation signature. Had he already signed 100's of papers before signing this one ?  If he had (probably only he or someone close to him can tell), then we have an answer why the signature is illegible in parts.

I am no court or judge to pass a judgement here. But one thing is quite clear that the cases of forgery tend to get quite complex in itself. Just a plain comparison of 2 signatures as most of the people including News channels seem to be doing, isn't the right way to go about it.  If at all we were to do in that way, i can tell one thing for sure that no two signatures are alike. An observant eye can find faults in any 2 signature sample of the same person taken almost at the same time. Will this mean they are forged ? This is probably something for you to ponder.

Image Sources:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vijay Mallya, Mathew Hayden's brush with Jealousy- Can handwriting help measure the extent of it ?

 I will just start with narrating some of the recent items that were in news recently.

Sachin Tendulkar was recently conferred with Order for Australia. Order of Australia is an honorary decoration to recognize Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service. While this news was greatly received by large section of people but there were a few who couldn’t take this news well. Consider these comments for instance-

Mathew Hayden, former Australian cricketer recently remarked-
"I think it should be exclusive to Australians. There's things that are sacred amongst our country. I kind of understand the point of the fact that he has been such an iconic figure here in Australia and there's an enormous population of Indian's that are working here and living here very happily and in harmony with Australia that have naturalised and I think that's a great part of our country, how multi-cultural that we are.
Now, if Sachin was living in Australia - give him the Prime Minister's gong I reckon - but the reality of it is he's living in India."
In an another news, Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines is actually going through troubled times recently found himself out of the Forbes billionaire’s list. Not to take this as a setback, Mallya is known to have tweeted-
 "Thanks to the Almighty that Forbes has removed me from the so called Billionaires list. Less jealousy, less frenzy and wrongful attacks"

Both of instances have something in common. Tendulkar getting an unexpected recognition from the Govt. of Australia had some prominent citizens (read: Hayden) fuming especially the ones who have themselves not gotten the recognition despite being from the same field as Tendulkar's. Can reaction from Hayden be termed as one motivated by Jealousy ?
On the other hand, there Vijay Mallya, who had everyone in awe with his business sense and lifestyle only till recently when the current crisis of Kingfisher airlines just made him lose a lot of respect. In the above quote, he states that he feels thankful to be out of Billionaire's club as he would have to deal with less Jealously, of other things.

Jealousy can be seen as one of common human traits. Remember as a kid, when one sees mother carrying and cuddling any other child, the kid gets restless as if someone has taken his or her's valuable possession.

Wikipedia defines Jealousy as-
Jealousy is an emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust.

To dissect this further, i would say Jealousy-
- an negative emotion
- it is synonyms with the feeling of insecurity
- is quite akin to feeling of losing something so dear to you.
- can result in feeling of anger/resentment
- May cause a feeling of helplessness
- is an emotion expressed in anticipation

There is a subtle difference between envy and Jealousy. Envy is always a bit forward sounding word, in the sense that, envy results when you so badly want something that you have seen others have but Jealousy is more of a fear of losing something.
With this, one can debate whether Mathew Hayden's reaction to Sachin's recognition was more of envy than jealousy but
this is something only Hayden can tell.

Coming to Handwriting analysis, there is a certain way to ascertain the presence of Jealousy in an individual's handwriting. It can be determined by looking at the presence of a tight beginning loop at the start of the word, a loop that is small and a closed circle.

You know what to look for in Mathew Hayden's handwriting in case you get an access to the sample.

Image Source:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sense of humor and Handwriting- A tribute to Jaspal Bhatti

When i heard the news about untimely demise of Jaspal Bhatti first , i thought it is one of the false news played by the man known for his onscreen comedy and pranks. Alas, it was not to be true.

I remember the times during the childhood when we used to defer going to playground (yes, we had  lots of them then) to watch his satirical show- Flop Show highlighting common man's problem with a simple dose of humour. That show is a lot relevant now probably more than it was then. His humour touched everyone alike- be it kids or adults,or aunts, young or old, male or female. There was another show called as Ulta-Pulta.  It was quite common for the kids then to cajole their parents into watching TV for additional half-an-hour to watch these shows. He was an anti-corruption crusader even at the time when it was not fashionable to talk about/against corruption in India.
His straight-faced humour was a need of the hour in today's times when the humour tends to be expressed more digitally by emoticons and smileys than in person.

A dose of humour gives us simple pleasures in life but the topic of understanding humour is quite complex in itself as Mark Twain had once said, “Studying humor is like dissecting a frog — you may know a lot but you end up with a dead frog.”  My intention here is to write a few lines as a tribute to a man who made us smile no matter what was going on in our lives.

Sense of humour:
Oxford dictionary define humour as "the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech". Having humour can be thought of as a trait of being funny. Humour does have distinct characteristics but the most of basic of them would be the ability to make others laugh and secondly, the ability to see the amusing side in the situations of life. There is also an interesting characteristic of ability to laugh at self.

Ingredients of humour and their association with Handwriting:
What kind of clues can one's handwriting give on the humour in one's personality ? Here, i would like to point some direct and indirect references.

Handwriting analysis is a lot about deciphering the strokes that makes the various components of the handwriting. Directly speaking- the presence of a "Wavy" t-bar or the "wavy" beginning of strokes depict the presence of humour in one's personality.

Indirectly speaking, humour can be safely treated as a creative activity . The reason i say it as a creative activity is because there is a sort of unexpectedness associated with humour that make the people to laugh. The unexpectedness can be attributed to creative potential of the person. Creativity is an intense topic in itself and handwriting gives some good clues about creative thinking. It is usually associated with the different forms of thinking such as Cumulative thinking (shown in the handwriting with letters "m" and "n" having flat or curvy tops), in which a person stack facts upon fact and takes its own time to arrive at a conclusion. Such form of thinking can lead to creative responses as the person tends to think through the situations. Most of the comedians dealing with dead-pan comedy may belong to this category. Other type of thinking patters could be Comprehensive thinking pattern (shown in the handwriting with sharp, pointed tops at "m" and "n") in which a person thinks a rapid pace and gets back with funny one liners and quick responses to the situations.

Sarcasm is another useful ingredient of humour. Sarcasm is usually treated as a negative trait but also often consists of double meaning of whatever is said. It is often used in generating humour. Most of the humour generated at the people holding high offices (Politicians etc.) has sarcasm as a key trait.
Sarcasm can be seen in handwriting in the sharp pointed "t" bars.

Imagination is another important ingredient of humour. Most of the humourists have very high degree of imagination and they have an ability to think the un-obvious and make a statement which nobody can even think of. This trait is usually seen in the Stand-up comedians. People with imagination can see the situations with a wider horizons. Tina Seelig in her this class on creativity even noted that "Jokes are interesting because the frame switches in the middle of the it" and that is largely because of one's imagination.
Imagination in handwriting can be revealed by large and wide lower loops in the letters "y", "g" and "j".

Apart of these traits, most humourists have the ability to laugh at themselves. And the people who have the ability to laugh at their own expense are not sensitive to criticism i.e. they just take the jokes on themselves in their stride and not take it personally. Sensitiveness to criticism can be noted in one's handwriting in letter "d" or "t" having looped stem. People having this trait are unlikely to have the ability to laugh at themselves.

 Probably, there's a lot more around Handwriting and humour that could be explored than the above glimpse but i will temporarily stop here.

Not sure home many of these traits would Jaspal Bhatti's handwriting have as  i have not see his anytime but I had recently started following Jaspal Bhatti on twitter and found that he had this knack of seeing humor in the serious news and he did tweeted some hilarious ones. Alas, there wont be next tweet coming anymore.

RIP Jaspal Bhatti!

Image Source:
Cartoon Source:
Courtesy: Sudhir Tailang!/sudhirtailang/media/slideshow?

Friday, October 19, 2012

What traits made Subhas Chandra Bose such an intense revolutionary ?

Subhas Chandra Bose (23 January 1897 – unknown) also known as Netaji (Hindi/Bengali: “Respected Leader”), was one of the most prominent Indian nationalist leaders who attempted to liberate India from British rule during the waning years of World War II.

Bose was a part of Indian National Congress (INC) and had grew through ranks to be become a leader of repute. He was eventually ousted from the INC as he was getting more and more convinced that India could be freed only by means of Force. This was a clear difference of Ideology with Gandhiji, which resulted in Bose's ouster from the INC. All these events made him more determined to formalize the use of force by means of setting up an army of people, which later was called as "Azad Hind Fauj". 

Bose was a shrewd and clever leader and his idea of using the violent means to gain Independence of India coincided or rather was inspired by the atmosphere of instability across the world during the World-war-II. He was a master negotiator and negotiated the case of building army with the representatives of many countries like Germany, Italy, Japan etc. He did eventually form an army with Indian prisoner of wars after Japan won the war over Singapore. This is considered to be the start point of Bose's dream of forming Azad Hind Fauj.

About Bose's handwriting sample: 
I got this handwriting sample as a forward over email. I don't claim this to be authentic but looking at some common aspects of this sample and others available on the internet, i have no strong reason to believe that this is fake either. Whatever is the case, this sample made me interested in knowing more about this man, who is worshiped even today for his courage and will to fight till the last breath for the nation. My quest to know more about him made me  watch the movie- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero .

Before i start analyzing the key aspects of his personality, i just wanted to put things in perspective with respect to Bose's persona.  And in order to do that, i will ask a simple question- "What sort of people even think of forming an army with an intention to free a nation ?"  Certainly not the common everyday people.  It is actually beyond the imagination of majority of us. But If i am asked to attempt to answer this question,my answer would someone who is - extremely passionate almost to a fault, Having a fire in the belly, deep desire to make a lasting difference, having extreme discontentment at the status-quo and may be some more similar sounding traits. While these traits are important to make a mark in any chosen endeavor, forming an army of committed people from scratch is certainly a different territory altogether. At that time, the hardships faced by Bose were like going against a massive tide of emotions nationwide (with Gandhiji preaching non-voilent means), which required beating the demons of self doubt and immense courage and determination to go ahead with the intended plans.

While the above mentioned list of traits is good but one thing is for sure, at the very root of even such a thought striking an individual has to be a background of very strong emotional feelings. One can't stake claim to take up something as complex as freeing the nation without extremely strong emotional push and foundation. This is something that can't certainly be done by any cold mannered individual.

This post is more about one such extreme trait that is very prevalent in Bose's handwriting sample. So its now a right moment to look at the handwriting sample-

Personality trait of "Resentment" in Subhas Chandra Bose's handwriting 

And this trait is called Resentment
Resentment is usually an effect caused by a extreme feeling of unfairness and its often in a form of deep rooted anger. There is a great deal of difference between the way we usually get angry in our day-to-day lives and getting angry while displaying resentment. 

Resentment is an extreme form of anger, something very akin to the way mobs get angry and demonstrate it by violence that actually hurts people who this is directed at. Bose's handwriting has clear evidence of such a trait and what that means is that he had an extreme form of resentment at the whole situation around the freedom and felt very strongly that his country was being given an unfair treatment and had a growing desire to change the status-quo.

One of his arguments with Gandhiji during the formative years of Azad Hind Fauj was that- as a country one should to make use of World war-II situation (which he eventually did) to weaken the opponent. Gandhiji was not convinced with the idea due to his philosophy of not to attack the opponent when he is weak. But Bose eventually went that path and that action to me seem more driven by resentment in his personality.
Resentment usually results in the violent display of emotions. Its an anger that gets harbored over a period of time, that is unresolved and which eventually explodes after a while.
While its hard to comment on pressure of handwriting in a digital sample but on careful examination, the pressure in Bose's handwriting can be assumed to be on the higher side. Higher pressure also means intensification of the existing emotional trait. Add this to the resentment trait and we really have a explosive answer to the question i posed earlier-  "What sort of people even think of forming an army with an intention to free a nation ?" 

There's a lot more in Subhas Chandra Bose's handwriting, which i will cover more in coming post based on the audience interest. 

Did you like this one ?

Image Source:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Can handwriting determine your ability to "Rinse your cottage cheese" ?

 Before the title start seeming intriguing to you, I just thought to share a story from Jim Collin's book "Good to Great". The context of below story is that Jim analyses the various factors that made some organizations reach eventual greatness and in the below excerpt, he lists one of the reasons-

We came to call this the "rinsing your cottage cheese" factor. The analogy comes from a disciplined world-class athlete named Dave Scott, who won the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon six times. In training, Scott would ride his bike 75 miles, swim 20,000 meters, and run 17 miles - on average, every single day. Dave Scott did not have a weight problem! Yet he believed that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet would give him an extra edge. So, Dave Scott - a man who burned at least 5,000 calories a day in training - would literally rinse his cottage cheese to get the extra fat off. Now, there is no evidence that he absolutely needed to rinse his cottage cheese to win the Ironman; that's not the point of the story. The point is that rinsing his cottage cheese was simply one more small step that he believed would make him just that much better, one more small step added to all the other small steps to create a consistent program of superdiscipline.

So, "Rinsing your cottage cheese" came to be known as a metaphor for the most disciplined people, who would go lengths of any proportions to ensure that they stick to the plans they have charted for themselves. In short, this was a metaphor for Super-disciplined people. Discipline is one of the consistent factor that would help determine what you eventually get to achieve before you call it a day. Discipline is more about choosing "Now" when your lazy self lures you towards choosing "Later". The more i think about discipline as a trait, the more it emerges as a multifaceted trait i.e. dependent on multiple factors. To simplify this further, this compound trait consists of the following sub-parts-

Will power :
Will power as a term is sometimes synonyms with Discipline. Dictionary meaning of the same is the strength of will to carry out one's decisions, wishes, or plans.

Perseverance :
Perseverance is an important element of Self discipline. It is an ability of an individual to stick to the plans despite the odds and difficulties. It is the ability to handle rejection or pain and keep going. This is what is called "Don’t Give up" mind-set, which is so much a part of disciplined people.

Self Control :
Discipline is about internal control. It is about ability to say "No" at the right moment at the right circumstances. A person exercising Self-control may be under tremendous strain from within as he is constantly try to control something.
Perfectionism: :
Excessive Perfectionism can be a negative trait but we are not talking about anything excessive here. If Self-control is about saying "No" and good part of being Self-disciplined also deals with saying "Yes" at the right moment. This ability to follow a code of conduct or a set rule comes from Perfectionism.

Can handwriting give clues about the various sub-traits that constitute discipline ? The answer to this is an emphatic "Yes".

Will power can be determined through one's handwriting by looking at how the horizontal "t" bar is formed. A heavy (high pressured) "t" bar is usually an indicative of Will power. You can notice this in M.F. Husain's Handwriting sample  here .

Perseverance  can be determined in one's handwriting by looking at the strokes forming the letter that goes back and the goes forward further on the right side. This can be noted in Aamir Khan's signature here .

Self control can be determined by looking at (again) how the "t" bar is formed. The concave "t" bar usually is indicative of Self Control. This can be viewed in Sachin Tendulkar's signature here .

Perfectionism can be noted in the handwriting sample which has a straight baseline. This can be viewed in Manmohan Singh's signature here .

So Handwriting does give some good clues that can help determine Discipline in one's handwriting. How well do you rinse your cottage cheese ?

Images Source: