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Wednesday, June 29 2022
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Enjoy your signature; it is a sign for the times! - 7 min read

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Last week, my cousin invited me over for lunch. She said she had cooked her signature dish – a lasagne – an Italian dish, but now with a touch of Indian in it, which, when I had tasted previously, I was like – you cannot eat just one spoonful! Naturally, I said yes. I was glad to say yes – I was waiting for an opportunity to break my meal monotony, – though I realised that it is that monotony that kept me alive and kicking myself at every lost opportunity – even when I wanted to say no out of courtesy, and then wait to be pressed or pleaded with to come over! The yes came out rather quickly in the circumstances. I just hoped my desperation was not very obvious. There is a parallel at election time i

I had just dug into my plate and the first spoonful was hovering near my oral cavity, when my cousin got a call. It was her bank manager. The bank manager changed her expression from welcome and triumph over a well-cooked signature dish to one of disgust and despair. He told her that the cheque she had issued earlier had bounced – her signature did not match.

Was worried now, about how it would affect her signature dish – what if that too did not match expectations? I took the risk and gobbled it. Luckily for me, it was no Gobbelsian lie, like so many we hear these days and believe, because they are repeated a thousand times. It was the genuine article.

But one phone call from the Bank Manager, got me pondering over an important part of our personality – our signatures – be they dishes or the one we dish out on paper to certify and assert our identity – which more often than not, do not, because they are illegible or have no relation to our names. Is that why our names, neatly written or typewritten, follow it?

Often our signatures define our personalities by their slant, their complexity, their illegibility, their beauty, their flourishes and even their height and width which are truly representative of human differences – you will understand if you look in the mirror and then glance at your fellow beings around you. I understand you do not do that much because of WFH, but if you do, you will be enlightened without an LED or sitting under a tree!

Indeed, there are those that can tell you how kinky, slinky, pinkie, whiny, or their opposites you are, just by looking at your signature – not even reading it, because mostly they cannot. Here are some clues to who and what you are … if you are signature angles upward – well you are upwardly mobile, maybe on your mobile only. Cannot say. But seriously you are maybe, ambitious, optimistic, creative, and full of vitality and you know what that means. If it angles downward – you are possibly the opposite… Your cup, or maybe the page you are on is only half full? If it is a straight drive – well, you are balanced and in control? But do you want that? A flat line on an ECG means you are dead!

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Are you bigger than you are? Or do you believe you are bigger than you are? Check your signature. The phrase “size matters” does have some science behind it! Your confidence and maybe your narcissism is directly proportionate? Check it out and see if you need to work on to create your own space on the page!

Do you know why Doctor’s prescriptions are legitimate but illegible? Because they have quick minds that work faster than their hand can move. Similarly, you! Do you have a quick mind? That maybe speeds ahead of you. Or maybe you do not want people to know what you are thinking or your motives? Or is it that the more legible it is, the more straight forward you are?

Is your signature incomplete? Do you short circuit it? Keep it concise because you are too busy with more important matters? You are perhaps independent of peer or seer pressure. It is an effective way to be, but you might also be lonely and long-standing relationships may escape your embrace rather frequently!

Your embellishments or shall we say flourishes – dots, underlines, extended lines etc indicate something or the other – the x factor in you. Maybe you can get on the show. You may not win though unless there is an upward slant.

So, should you alter your signature after you have been enlightened? Well clothes do not make the man, or woman. All they do is cover up the inequities and imperfections… to the extent they can. The naked truth, seen with the naked eye is always a revelation!

Regardless, one has to wonder how a signature remains stable in its dimensions – from perhaps early teens to late 80’s – the new old age according to Ian Robertson, dean of research at Dublin’s Trinity College of Neurosciences. Is it because of fear that change will hamper our finances or the future? Or is it something inherent in all of us? Is it biological, or intellectual? Stable, even as we evolve, in size, maturity, strength, and then wane in the same way?

The signature was not always a signature – that came in 15th century – 1530 to be precise, Previously, in 3500 BC, a seal was the first signature. The Sumerians invented it. Typically, these seals were attached to a small round cylinder about one inch in length and would be pressed into wet clay. They still exist and are used by those three and two letter investigative agencies in India to prevent tampering with what they have already tampered!

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In AD 57 came the Japanese Hanko Seal. Then in 15th century – 1530 to be precise, the first signed document came about – it was a Scottish document. Incidentally, Signature is also a highly recommended blended scotch that you do not have to sign for when you buy unless you are under the voting age – not the marriageable age. It helps you get ready for marriage perhaps – that is why!

Interestingly the role of a signature in many consumer contracts is not solely to provide evidence of the identity of the contracting party, but also to provide evidence of deliberation and informed consent. That is why the thumbprint (which too is meaningless unless you have a name below and a database to match it – which we have now, but not in the days of yore!), the names, and the witnesses! Ignorance of what is written before you sign is not bliss! It is a sign of the times, that people dispute what they have signed to signify consent after deliberation. Nothing strange in that – that is how divorce came about – This is not what I signed up for, one or the other will say, hours after they have changed out of their wedding gown or suit, as the case may be. Real roses wither, paper roses do not! They are proof of informed consent!

And now, because your hands are not steady, or you have not studied, has come the Esign or the digital signature. eSign, or eSignature technology, is a digital workaround to the traditional method of signing paper documents by hand – handwriting is a forgotten art. Cursive writing has become cursed writing! And it is environmentally friendly, so they say. That is where they would like to keep your head in the cloud, and your signature, so that you do not fret about the heat signature of your electronic device, or it scrappage!

It is time to sign off without a signature. The eSigned budget document is being read out by the FM in parliament even as I write this, and by the time it is done with, you will have to sign a whole new bunch of documents to sustain your identity.

Enjoy your Signature, but do not let it cloud your judgement!


Disclaimer

This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Edar 

Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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