In Kerala, the latest social media buzz is all about a signature. The signature of M K Jayan, a Kerala government official, has gone viral for its artistic quality. Thirty-five years after he crafted his signature as a Class 10 student, Jayan is bemused to see the attention his personal identification mark is getting.
Jayan is the block development officer of Mananthavady in Wayanad, his home district. He lives in Kuppady near Sulthan Bathery.
The signature started getting attention after a picture of it started being circulated on social media with a quirky caption. "One shouldn't be too arrogant just because he can draw well," the caption, which is indeed an appreciation to the talent of the undersigned, reads. Jayan's designation is mentioned in the picture, but not his name. In fact, one could make out anything but his name in the signature which looks an abstract sketch of a butterfly or some birds.
"I drew my signature just like any other class 10 student would do when it's time to apply for the board examinations. One day our teacher told us to come prepared to put our signatures on the application. The teacher said it should be unique as it is going to be our lifelong identification mark. So I went home and drew a signature," Jayan told Onmanorama.
Neither teachers nor his friends at the Sarvajana High School at Cherukara in Wayanad had noticed anything unusual in his signature then. He had no clue about the fame the scribbling was going to fetch in future.
When in school, Jayan had a passion for drawing which is evident from his signature. However, he couldn't pursue the passion as he became busy with the struggles of everyday life. In college, he was a football player and the goalkeeper of Calicut University team. He joined the Kerala Government Service in 1995. Jayan is also a poet.
Even though he has signed thousands of documents, the signature has never been a talking point like it is now. "I have noticed some people observing it keenly. Usually officials like me sign on government papers which remain within the system. Sometimes, we have to sign on papers like bank documents for personal needs, but then people there have a lot of other jobs than discussing my signature," he said.
The signature that has gone viral is from a letter he had submitted to the Mananthavady Circle Inspector earlier this month for clearance of Mahila Pradhan agents. "I don't know how it made its way into the social media," he said.
Jayan's legacy of the unique signature run through his family also. His son Dhrupath Gautham, a noted poet and an undergraduate student, and daughter Maurya Chinmayi, a class 11 student, also have stunning signatures like their father's. Jayan's wife Mini is a schoolteacher.