The theme of this story is the disconnect that marks generations. Albert communicates clumsily with his aging grandmother, unable to speak the dialect that she understands, but tries to remain filial by visiting her in Pulau Ubin on her birthday. Hilarity ensues when he uses his friend (who is Malay) to act as translator for his conversations with Ah Ma. Albert stays only for a short while, but Ah Ma is content, at least until her next birthday. How much does physical, lingual and generational distance affect relationships? Happy Birthday Ah Ma is the story of two birthdays, and the distances in between.