By Andrew Malone
Alone and afraid, Aamir was initially grateful when a ‘kind’ older couple befriended him on his arrival in Mumbai. This chaotic urban sprawl is now India’s largest city and home to more than 20 million people. More than nine million of them live in slums, raising families in shacks built from rubbish on top of open sewers. For a homeless 12-year-old child freshly arrived from the countryside, it is a terrifying place to be.
Overcrowding is now so bad in this huge metropolis that shanty towns have even sprung up in the international airport. People in rags scavenge as giant jets thunder past just feet away.
But for many on the Indian sub-continent, Mumbai will always be the city of dreams — a place of Bollywood film stars and gold-paved streets. It was certainly the image that brought Aamir here.
Fleeing a violent, drunken father in rural India — his
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