CBSE Class 10 English The Thief’s Story Assignment

 

The Thief’s Story

INTRODUCTION—
‘The Thief’s Story’ by Ruskin Bond is about a 15 year old boy, Hari Singh, whose life changes when he meets Anil, a 25 year old writer. Anil’s unspoken words and kind gestures leave very positive imprints on Hari Singh who is an artful thief.

SUMMARY—
Hari Singh is the narrator of this story. He is an artful thief. One day, he met a young man of twenty-five named Anil, at a wrestling match. He gave him an artificial smile. He desired to have an acquaintance with him in order to make him his next victim. Anil avoided him. Hari Singh followed Anil after the match was over. He asked Anil for work. He was ready to work for Anil if he could just feed him. Anil agreed to engage Hari Singh if he could cook food for both. The thief lied that he was a good cook as Anil had to throw the bad meal, prepared by Hari Singh to dogs, on the first day.
Anil took upon himself to teach him how to cook and read and how to write. The thief made the morning tea and bought the daily supplies. Anil was aware of the fact that Hari Singh made a profit from the purchases.

Anil was not a rich man. He borrowed money sometimes but repaid the loan whenever he earned money through his writings for magazines. The thief thought it a strange way of making money.
One day, Anil sold a book to a publisher and brought home a bundle of notes. He put the money under his mattress. The thief had not stolen anything since a month of his working there. He had no desire to rob a careless person who trusted him blindly. However, he could not resist the temptation of getting the bundles of notes. The thief got up quietly when Anil had gone to sleep. He took the money and slipped out of the room. He had six hundred rupees in his possession. He reached the railway station just as the Lucknow Express was picking up speed. He could have boarded it but something held him back. The train was soon out of his sight. Hari Singh was left alone on the platform. He was in a dilemma where to go. He had no acquaintance there. He did not like to go to a hotel lest he should be suspected.
The thief thought that Anil would be sad not for the loss of money but for the loss of trust he had reposed on him. It was a cold night. It was drizzling when he went to the maidan and sat down on a bench. His clothes got drenched. He went back to the bazaar. There he took shelter under the clock tower. It was midnight. He thought and realized that he had let go a chance of being a respectable man. Anil was taking pains to teach him reading and writing. He decided to go back to Anil and reached his home. Anil was still asleep. He slipped the money at its usual place. He slept till late hours.
Anil had made tea before Hari Singh woke up. Anil offered him a fifty rupee note. He also promised him to pay him regularly. The note was still wet. Anil understood everything but he did not expose the thief ’s doing. Instead, Anil said that they would start writing sentences that day. Hari Singh felt guilty and smiled shame-facedly.


Short Answer Type Questions 

Question. Hari Singh was both a thief and a human being. Explain. 
Answer. No doubt Hari is a thief as well as good human being. Situations compel a person to become either beast or remain as a human being. Even goodness and nobility of a person changes anyone’s heart and mind.


Question. How did Hari Singh make money though he was not paid by Anil ? 

Answer. Hari Singh did all the market chores for Anil. He saved money from the things he purchased as Anil never asked him to give the accounts. But Anil was very much aware of this.


Question. Why was Hari Singh grateful to Anil ? 

Answer. Hari Singh was grateful to Anil because Anil taught him to read and write whole sentences and to add numbers. Soon, he would become an educated man and would be able to achieve anything in life.


Question. How did Anil come to know that Hari Singh had run away with his money ?

Answer. Perhaps Anil might have woken up at night and discovered that Hari was not present in the house. Moreover, he found the wet notes under his mattress. Out of that, he gave a fifty rupee note to Hari and reacted normally.

 

Long Answer Type Questions 

Question. Why did the thief befriend with Anil ? Why did he steal Anil’s money ? Why did he come back and put Anil’s money back ?
Answer. The thief befriended with Anil because he wanted to have an acquaintance with him so as to make him his next victim. Moreover, he needed a place to live. He started to work for Anil who was a credulous person. Anil started teaching him how to read and write. One day Anil brought a bundle of notes. The thief stole the money though he was out of practice and had not robbed anyone for so many days. After stealing the money, he planned to go to Lucknow. But at the station, his inner conscience pricked him and did not allow him to go. His heart changed as he wanted to be an educated man. So, he returned back and placed the money back to its place. Hari was grateful to Anil because Anil had taught him to read and write and was helping him in becoming an educated man. With education, Hari would be able to achieve much more in life. So he didn't want to hurt Anil by loosing his trust.


Question. Write a brief character-sketch of Hari Singh in the light of his honesty. Express your opinion also.

Answer. Hari Singh, a boy of 15, was an experienced and successful thief. He was successful because of his cleverness and intelligence. He planned everything meticulously before choosing his victims. He went to places where he would meet an unsuspecting victim. He would then win his confidence to get a job. After sometime, he used to run away after stealing money from there. Then he used to change his name to befool the police and his former employers. Thus he was a liar. He got a job as a cook, though he could not cook well. He was a greedy boy. He was cruel enough to rob a simple and trusting man like Anil. He managed to steal six hundred rupees from his house. But, there is transformation in the end of the story, when he decides to come back to Anil and keep his trust alive. This shows that there is goodness concealed in even the worst of men. Hari Singh wanted to become an educated person in future. He wanted to mend his ways by becoming a big, clever and respected man and earn his livelihood honestly instead of stealing.

 


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