Actually, I'm not fond of short story collections but now after reading Happy Birthday (And as my short story is going to be featured in Uff Ye Emotions 2), I think if stories are identifiable and well written, one can enjoy them...really!
In this book, almost every story is poignant and beautifully written. My favourite stories are (Although all the stories are nice) Clip and Cane (Brilliant writing by the author!), Gecko on the Wall and The Gola Master (Touching!) and Hoopsters (Engaging!).
If well written and well executed, a simple story can be interesting. Happy Birthday, Shoulder Blades and The Message are the perfect example for that!
Friends is a poignant story but I found it a bit scattered. For me the ending of The Bailout was unexpected and slightly odd. Rest of the stories are nice. The only negative thing in this book, for me, was Dented and Painted Women. I didn't find it interesting.
The best thing about this book is it's writing style! Neat, Crisp and interestingly natural. You find yourself flowing with it! Happy Birthday is the first short story collection I finished like a novel and liked it a lot! Characters, setting and situations are so natural and identifiable that you feel yourself attached to them.
Overall, for me, it was a delightful read! I strongly recommend it to every fiction lover, irrespective of the genre. And yes, waiting for Meghna Pant's next book.