June 10, 2011


I have the world’s crappiest signature.

In school, when we had to sign for the hall ticket in tenth standard, the whole class got so excited. Because it was the first time our signature was being given importance. Till then, other than your mom and dad who’ve taught you how to write, who else really cares for your signature?

So when it was announced that the teacher would be bringing our forms the next day for our glorious signatures, we all got to work furiously- practicing the perfect sign. Homeworks and daily lessons took a backseat. This was an important thing for us 15 year-olds. The pages of our notebooks were filled with our scrawls. We took advice from parents, siblings, neighbours, uncles, aunts, of what the perfect sign should be. Some said, write only your first name, some said write your full name. Some said make it very complicated, so that no one can forge it.

How complicated can one make ‘Divya’?

So after pages and pages of practicing, I thought I finally had perfected it. Just the first name, nothing very complicated.

When the teacher brought the forms to class, we were doing some last minute practicing. And that’s when I realized- I sign differently every time. Each signature of mine was different from the previous one! Either a dot here or a line there- something or the other was different. But still, it didn’t look bad. When the teacher called out my turn, I went confidently, pen held high before me, ready to conquer the forms.

It literally looked like a crow had taken a crap on that little box. And I think I made a little hole in the form also, with the final dot.

It’s still the same. When I sign my name for fun in books, it turns out decent. But when I have to put it somewhere actually, it turns out embarrassingly horrible.
But I had made my peace with it. I had learnt to accept my scrawl, just like I had learnt to accept my godawful handwriting.


Until Standard Chartered decided to teach me a lesson.

That’s where my salary account is. Right from the beginning, that bank was jinxed for me. First, I managed to rub off the ATM pin before I could note it down (I know. Charming, right?). Then they said that until I make some transaction, I cannot apply for a new pin number. But how am I to make a transaction when I didn’t have an ATM card, du-uh! They said I can do it through internet banking, with the username and password that they had sms’ed me. Yes, the very same username and password that I had nonchalantly deleted from my inbox, again, without noting it down. So finally, I trudged down to the bank, stood in line, made a transaction, and to cut a long (for me) story short, I got a new Debit card.

Then I had to go back there to deposit a cheque one day. After standing in the queue for half an hour, when I reached the counter, the teller looked at the deposit slip, checked something on his computer, and declared that my signatures didn’t match.
History had come back to bite my ass.

Apparently, there was a difference in the lines I draw below the name. So they made me sit down, like a KG student in art class, and made me practice my signature. Till I got every line and dot right. I sent a silent prayer up to God when I finally signed on the deposit slip. Everyone was looking on with bated breath, like I was signing the Indo-Pak Peace Treaty.

They accepted it, but not before I was subjected to some amused looks and laughs.

Is the thumb-impression accepted anymore? At least that won’t be different every time… Sigh...


  1. Don't be too sue about the thumb impression, apparently it also changes with time. Thats what scientists say at the wake of India adopting the UID.

    But yea, signatures are always a major pain.

  2. Interesting that something we take for granted like a signature caused you so much of angst. But, you rightly pointed out the great excitement we all shared when in 10th to sign. I remember that excitement vividly too :). Even at that age, I wanted to sign only my first name because that stays a constant throughout the life :)

  3. @Arun: SO there goes that hope also of mine...

    @Rachna: Hey, thanks for dropping by! :) I did try signing my surname also for a while, but that was like double the mess, so now it's just my first name. ;)


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