Author: Meghna Pant
Publisher: Random House India
Publishing Date: 11 July 2013
Genre: Short stories
Cost: Rs.188.17 (kindle edition)
Happy Birthday! is a celebration of the complex, mysterious inner lives of our fellow human beings, by the award-winning novelist Meghna Pant. A dedicated friend undertakes one last labour of love for a childless woman. Nadia - married into money - finds herself facing uncomfortable truths about her comfortably numb marriage. A Mumbai slum-girl dreams of speaking words valuable enough to be translated into English. An American tourist seeking nirvana sets off a sudden chain of events when his bag is stolen and destiny plays her hand. A retired civil servant of modest means struggles to support his snooty foreign-returned daughter. Meghna Pant's knife-sharp stories are compelling, emotionally intelligent and provide a rare glimpse into the strange workings of the human heart. They evade neat categorization and are the perfect read for all curious spirits.
Each and every story in the book has been meditated upon and considered properly, and presented in a appealing and engaging manner. The author displays a good understanding of the human behaviour. She throws light upon both the righteous and the abominable side of human nature.
The illustrations of the environment or the situation, the sceneries are very descriptive and aids the readers to understand the setting; Like:
“We follow her into a tunnel of corrugated iron and emerge onto a narrow dilapidated walkway of bamboo poles, lashed together on stilts. There are holes in parts where the feet of passers-by must have previously fallen through. The whole structure moves as I walk. Fatima holds my arm, anxious that I don’t slip into the black sludge below.”
The book has derives its title from the main story, “Happy Birthday” in which we are introduced to a woman who has all the pleasures in the world, but is still disconsolate. She goes to a fanciful and desirable celebration with her husband on the day of her birthday, where she encounters some atypical events and some bizarre people who turns her life upside down and in an altogether different path.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni said: "These are stories with a large heart and a keen eye, deeply aware of the complex, sometimes uncomfortable realities of India, its many layers. Meghna Pant knows how to create characters that will surprise and move you."
Milestones of the Book:
- Happy Birthday was longlisted for the prestigious Frank O'Connor Award 2014.
- It has also been voted the TOP title on Flipkart’s editors picks for the month.
About the Author:
Meghna Pant is a multiple award-winning author, journalist and speaker. Her books – Happy Birthday! , One & A Half Wife , Feminist Rani , The Trouble With Women and How To Get Published In India– have been published to commercial and critical acclaim.
She has been felicitated with various honours and shortlists for distinguished contribution to literature, gender issues and journalism, including the Laadli Media Award, Bharat Nirman Award, Muse India Young Writer Award, FON South Asia Short Story Award, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Frank O'Connor International Award and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Pant's short stories have been published in over a dozen global literary magazines, including Avatar Review, Wasafari, Eclectica, etc.
Meghna has lived in Delhi, Singapore, Zurich, Dubai and New York City. She is currently based in Mumbai with her husband and daughters.