I am walking down a street called Lane 14 in a city the world used to know as Bombay, and my senses are under assault. I sidestep human feces on my left, and a puddle of vomit on my right. Garbage is strewn everywhere, and so are people of all ages, many of them deformed, enough human beings to make Times Square look like Palookaville.

I keep walking. I pass raw sewage in the gutters and decaying food and rats the size of possums. I have all I can do to not gag and wretch. I come upon a boy who can’t be more than 4 years old. He is eating a half-rotten banana. He is wearing no pants. Oozing sores cover his legs. I wonder what his name is. I wonder how he came to be left on his own in a city of some 20 million people, half-dressed and wholly neglected.

Not far from the boy, I spot a used condom on the street – hardly surprising, seeing that the row of decrepit two-story buildings on my left are all brothels, with bars on the windows upstairs, where young women are kept in cages the size of a walk-in closet, in captivity to service the needs of men and make money for the monsters who brought them here.