India, Jan. 12 -- If you've lived in Mumbai long enough you'll know that there's more than one way to solve a problem. I've boarded a Churchgate-bound train at Marine Lines to be assured of a seat when it hurtles back towards Borivli at rush hour. I knew someone who'd routinely dial her designer husband, say "Hello, Inspector Minal?" and have him scold her rickshaw driver in Marathi for refusing to ply. I know of hawkers who formed a WhatsApp group to intimate everyone about an approaching municipal vehicle. And I've seen plenty of potted plants thriving under dripping balcony ACs.

Other urban problems are harder to solve. I've seen friends, colleagues and seemingly strong individuals succumb to the gut-wrenching loneliness that comes fr...