Many cities are founded by gods, heroes, conquerors but Karachi emerges from nothing, from stories. There are stories about Ram and Sita sojourning in a verdant cove that would become a canton of the city. There are stories about a wandering Sufi who settled by a creek and in time the lice he shook from his head metamorphosed into crocodiles. There are stories about some natural calamity, an earthquake perhaps, that compelled the inhabitants of nearby bastis to populate the scrim of coast on the Arabian Sea that is now populated by some 18.2 million souls officially (21 million unofficially).