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.

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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.

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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.

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