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What’s in a handwriting? Decoding the power of a legible hand

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The world can be divided into two groups of people: the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
The basis of demarcation is pretty self-explanatory. The former is understood to be better placed than the latter because it has ‘something’ that the other doesn’t. But what is that ‘something’? Money? In your Economics textbooks, perhaps. But on ‘National Handwriting Day’, it’s your handwriting.

Every year, we celebrate 23 January as ‘National Handwriting Day’, which is meant to alert the public to the importance of one’s handwriting. But in practice, it’s on a day like this that people with ‘decent’ handwriting make most of their ‘pseudo-elite’ status and mock those with ‘terrible’ handwriting. It’s sad that such bullying is a reality. I mean, cut the poor boy some slack! His life is already fraught with such misery!

Let’s call ‘the boy with bad handwriting’ X. Now, as a child, X took all his cursive writing classes for granted. Due to his gross negligence, his handwriting never got the chance to develop into a legible script. So when X formally joined school, his teachers berated him for submitting shoddy work; his friends teased him; his love letters and notes were always misinterpreted by his crushes and he was graded poorly on his assignments and tests.

If you’re sympathising with X, think of the kind of trouble we, the general public, must face when people like X are unleashed into the world as doctors, teachers and writers. It’s such a task to figure out a doctor’s prescription if his hand is indecipherable; so arduous to keep up with a teacher when what she writes on the blackboard looks like scribbles and scrawls from a comic book; and particularly distressing when editors and proof-readers must go through the hand-written manuscripts of writers with poor handwriting.

This dismal scene has marginally improved with the culture of submitting written work as a ‘soft copy’. Today, most of our reports are made on Word. Mass communication of ideas takes place through PowerPoint presentations. Even personal communication is done virtually, without the use of paper and pen.

Yet, even technology and scientific advancement cannot undermine the importance of handwriting. An individual’s handwriting is a vital aspect of his personality. That is probably why experts and professionals are able to decode so much about a person’s characteristics just by studying the twists and turns of his written alphabets. A good handwriting has aesthetic appeal. A good handwriting may not be a life skill, but it certainly is a skill worth possessing if one wants that extra edge.

And with that rationale in mind, this year on ‘National Handwriting Day’, let’s make an effort to improve our handwriting. Doing so may not make not bring you additional riches, fame or success. But it certainly will add another feather to your cap!

Kriti Sharma
[email protected]

Image credits: Google images

Kriti Sharma is studying BCom (Hons) at Hansraj College. She has a myriad interests, writing being just one of them. A debater, a scholar, a fashionista, she is more of an outdoors person who likes to run 6-8 km a day, just to clear her head. She is an ‘Army Brat’, but an unlikely one. Reading a book by lantern light in a tent by the banks of river Indus after a hard day’s trek in the mountains is her idea of bliss. She wants to be an investment banker but admits that writing lets her escape into a world of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

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