Engineering Myself

Akshay Gajria
Human Parts
Published in
16 min readFeb 27, 2024


An individual is a process: complex, tightly integrated.

— Carlo Rovelli¹

(Content Warning: Self-Harm)


Time finds a way of making its presence felt. I’ll advice against having an old clock with gears in your writing space. It ticks and tocks loud enough — especially loud in the silence of the page — marking each second that swings by, dancing alongside the cursor that mocks, a continuous reminder of the time shrinking between the now and your three-hour-away deadline.

My task wasn’t a long one either. Just three sentences. A short story I’d won a prize for was being published and it needed an author bio. I hate writing these; it raises the uncomfortable question of who I am? How do I to capture myself — the whole fog of me, the fragments of my body, mind and soul, each warring for a place to be known, read, seen — in three or four lines? It’s like cupping water from a cloud.

My writing mentor advised me to always keep a bio boring. Simple facts, mundane details only; it’s not a space for creativity. I stick to that advice, thinking if years later I read it, at least I won’t cringe like I do when I read my older drafts. Over time, I’ve built a standard format. It usually begins with the line: