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Write of passage

Analysing people's handwriting for a living seems just the sort of profession an Indian father might disapprove of.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2008 00:31 IST
Tasneem Nashrulla

Analysing people's handwriting for a living seems just the sort of profession an Indian father might disapprove of. But when you work with IBM, count John Abraham and Bipasha Basu as your clients and get CEOs of big corporations to change their handwriting and their personalities for anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000, you just might appease the Indian father. Especially if you accomplish all this at 24. Little wonder then, that graphologist Chandraprabha's father, she says, “is very happy, but like all Indian fathers, still doesn't show it!”

Chandraprabha (she doesn't use a surname) is a self-made entrepreneur who started her own company—Chandraprabha Graphology Solutions (CGS) — six months ago. Her interest in the subject started at 14, when she chanced upon a book on graphology which deeply intrigued her. People-watching had always been a passion and she had grown up observing people closely.
“That's how I developed an innate understanding of people,” she says.

Handwriting analysis was an extension of that understanding and passion.

She set about learning the 800 permutations and combinations of the curves and strokes of letters (there are 45 different ways of writing the letter 't'). She acquired an International Certification in handwriting analysis and began freelancing as a graphologist.

At 18, Chandraprabha tied up with Café Coffee Day to provide handwriting analysis for its employees and patrons, earning a
measly Rs 50 per sitting.

A stint at a radio show followed, but she was still struggling to make a name for herself. “I was young, I was a girl… no one really took me seriously”" she says. But in 2006, she had a stroke of luck while attending an HR summit in Delhi. “I was pitching my ideas to high-profile corporates who had no idea who I was,” she recalls.

By using “the proof of concept” tactic, where she presented them with blank pages of paper to write on and then analysed these samples on the spot, she managed to get the attention of IBM India's HR president. “He and his wife were shocked when I accurately revealed intimate details about his personality after analysing his writing,” she remembers. Soon, the 22-year old was working with the head honchos of some of India's biggest firms.

Now, sitting in her office at Wadala, heading a staff of eight, and providing her services to IBM, ESPAT, Jumbo King, Zenith Computers among others, Chandraprabha is as fired up about graphology as she was at the age of 14. “I get a kick out of seeing my work change people's lives. I was so happy when I saw that some of Café Coffee Days' waiters, whose writing I had analysed, had become managers.” She says she has developed scientific models that help improve people's lives by analysing and altering their handwriting, signatures and logos.

Over the last seven years, Chandraprabha has analysed the writing of over 5,000 people including celebrities like Sonu Nigam, Rani Mukherjee, John Abraham, Saif Ali Khan. Her father (an art director in films), who was extremely apprehensive of her career choice, is a happy man today. And Chandraprabha's fees have gone from Rs 50 to Rs 5,000 per hour. She's glad she didn't see the writing on the wall.