CBSE Class 8 English Literature The Thief Prose by Ruskin Bond

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About the author: Ruskin Bond (born 19 May 1934) is an Indian author of British descent. He lives with his adopted family in Landour, in Mussoorie, India.

Most of his works are influenced by life in the hill stations at the foothills of the Himalayas, where he spent his childhood. His first novel, The Room On the Roof, was written when he was 17 and published when he was 21. It was partly based on his experiences at Dehradun, in his small rented room on the roof, and his friends. His earlier works were written without being meant for any particular readership. His first children's book, "The Angry River" in the 1970s (second being The Blue Umbrella), had its writing toned down on a publisher's request for a children's story. On writing for children, he said, "I had a pretty lonely childhood and it helps me to understand a child better."Being a writer for over 50 years, Bond experimented with different genres; early works include fiction, short stories, novella with some being autobiographical. Later, he tried out non-fiction, romance and books for children. His favourite genres are essays and short stories.


There is a small time thief who befriends a struggling author; in the plans of making a steal. Arun; the struggling author is a good fellow who wants to teach Deepak how to read and write. Gradually, Arun develops trust in Deepak. But Deepak has been waiting for the right moment to make a killing by doing what he is best at. After stealing money from Arun, Deepak tries to go away forever. But some inner voice stops him from doing so. He returns to Arun because he wants to live a life of respect. Arun does not show that he knew about the incident and accepts  Deepak with open arms. Thus, a well intentioned person tries to reform a teenager who had diverted from the correct path.


Ques.1 Answer with reference to context:

a) ‘You look like a wrestler yourself,’I said.

(i) Identify the lesson and author.

(ii)Identify the speaker and addressee.

(iii) Why did the speaker say the above line?

b) ‘If you can cook ,’he said, ‘then I’ll feed you.’

(i) Identify the speaker and addressee.

(ii) What was the reply given by the addressee?

(iii) Why did he give this reply?

c) ‘Today I’ll teach you to write a little more than your name,’he said.

(i) When was the above statement made?

(ii) What does it reveal about the speaker’s character?

(iii) On hearing this, why did the addressee smile in his appealing way?

Ques.2 Answer the following questions briefly:

a) What are Deepak’s reactions to the prospect of receiving an education? Do they change over time? What makes him return to Arun?

b) Why doesn’t Arun hand over Deepak to the police? Do you think most people would have done so? In what ways is Arun different from such employers?

c) Do you think people like Arun and Deepak Singh are found only in fiction, or are there such people in real life?

d) Do you think it a significant detail in the story that Anil is a struggling writer? Does this explain his behaviour in any way?

e)  What could be the reason for turning a fifteen year old boy like Deepak into a thief?

Ques. 3 Complete the following statements with the most appropriate option:

a) Deepak spotted Arun for the first time when

(i) he was at the railway station

(ii) he was playing a wrestling match

(iii) he was watching a wrestling match

(iv) he was waiting at the bus stop

b) Arun gave the meal cooked by Deepak to

(i) his neighbour

(ii) his neighbour’s cat

(iii) his neighbour’s dog

(iv) his neighbour’s mother

c) Deepak decided to miss the train because

(i) he didn’t have a ticket

(ii) the train had started moving

(iii) he couldn’t run fast enough

(iv) he had a change of heart


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