"A major world power is being threatened by these civilizational tensions."
-- Robert Kaplan, Center for a New American Security
The leitmotif of old Bombay is its diversity. Populations with varied beliefs and languages were agglomerated by the British into an ever growing city, first as a trading post which then slowly transformed into an industrial and financial powerhouse. As the city grew, it spread, reclaiming land and absorbing islands, pushing outward into the hinterland that was linked by the railways. All along the rail lines and across the bay grew beautiful mansions and congested slums. Beside them rose skyscrapers and hotels, Irani restaurants and street food stalls. The films came in time, building on Bombay's polycultural theatre scene. Mumbai accounts for a quarter of India's gross domestic product. Some of it comes from the gangsters of the streets; most of it comes from the brokers at Dalal Street. This is a city alive and swelling, which is why journalist Suketu Mehta's opus called it maximum city.