The prison sequence in the novel takes place at the infamous Arthur Road prison in Bombay (Mumbai), India. Conditions at Arthur Road are unimaginably horrific earning it the reputation as one of the ten worst prisons in the world.
At Arthur Road, as in most prisons, everything is a transaction. There is little or no regard for the sanctity of life; everyday is an exercise in survival. If you have somehow smuggled cash into the prison, you can buy a reprieve from the worst conditions (including physical punishment), but without that buffer, life is a constant maneuvering for access to food, to a larvae infested blanket or to a place in line for the latrine. It is a suffocating existence designed to break a person's spirit, to reduce them to an animal in a cage. It is a place without hope and without mercy where weakness is seized upon as an excuse for additional abuse.
The thought of life in prison is something that helps keep the balance and support our justice system. What does the thought of prison bring up for you?