Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, summaries, mcqs, pdf, extras for the chapter The Thief’s Story which is a part of SEBA Class 10 English (first language) Supplementary Reader (Footprints Without Feet) syllabus.
Summary: Ruskin Bond’s The Thief’s Story is about Hari Singh, a 15-year-old boy whose life is turned upside down when he meets Anil, a 25-year-old writer. Hari Singh, an artful thief, is left with highly pleasant impressions by Anil’s unspoken words and gentle gestures.
Hari Singh is The Thief’s Story’s narrator. He is a cunning thief. He met Anil at a wrestling match one day and smiled artificially at him. He wanted to get to know him so that he could use him as his next victim. After the match, Hari Singh approached Anil and requested work. He said that if he could just feed Anil, he’d be willing to work for him. Anil agreed to hire Hari Singh if he could prepare meals for both of them. Anil had to give the terrible dinner provided by Hari Singh to the dogs on the first day.
Anil decided to teach him how to cook, read, and write on his own. The thief prepared the morning tea and purchased the daily necessities. Hari Singh had profited from the purchases, which Anil was aware of. Anil was not a wealthy individual. He borrowed money from time to time but always paid it back when he earned money from his magazine writing. It seemed like an odd way to make money to the thief.
Anil sold a book to a publisher one day and brought home a stack of cash. He hid the cash under his bed. Since he began working there a month ago, the thief had not taken anything. He had no desire to rob a careless individual who had naively trusted him. He couldn’t resist the urge to get the bundles of notes, though. When Anil had gone to sleep, the thief awoke gently. He snuck out of the room with the money. He had Rs. 600 in his pocket. He arrived at the station just as the Lucknow Express was speeding up. He had the option of boarding it, but something kept him from doing so. The train vanished from his view in a flash. Hari Singh was left on the platform by himself. He didn’t know anyone there. He was afraid of being suspected if he went to a motel.
Anil, the thief reasoned, would be upset not over the loss of money, but by the loss of trust, he had placed in him. It was a chilly evening. When he arrived at the maidan and sat on a bench, it was raining. His clothes were completely soaked. He made his way back to the bazaar. He took refuge beneath the clock tower there. It was 12 a.m. He reflected and understood that he had thrown up his chance to be a respectable guy. Anil was patiently teaching him to read and write. He made the decision to return to Anil and arrived at his residence. Anil was still dozing off. He slid the money into its normal location. He slept until the wee hours of the morning.
Before Hari Singh awoke, Anil had made tea. Anil presented him with a fifty rupee note. He further stated that he will pay him on a regular basis. The bill was still damp. Anil was aware of everything, yet he did not reveal the thief’s deception. Anil, on the other hand, stated that they will begin composing sentences the next day. Hari Singh felt bad about himself and smiled shamefully.
Read and find out
1. Who does ‘I’ refer to in the story (The Thief’s Story)?
Answer: Hari Singh, the thief, is referred to as “I” in the story.
2. What is he “a fairly successful hand” in?
Answer: He is a fairly successful hand when it comes to stealing.
3. What does he get from Anil in return for his work?
Answer: Anil provides him with food and shelter in exchange for his work.
4. How does the thief think Anil will react to the theft?
Answer: The thief believes that when Anil discovers the theft, his face would be saddened by the loss of trust.
5. What does he say about the different reactions of people when they are robbed?
Answer: When they were robbed, the greedy man showed fear, the rich man displayed wrath, and the poor man showed acceptance, according to the thief in The Thief’s Story.
6. Does Anil realise that he has been robbed?
Answer: No, Anil is unaware that he has been robbed since he is a careless person. However, he learns of it later when he realises the notes are wet.
Think about it
1. What are Hari Singh’s reactions to the prospect of receiving an education? Do they change over time? What makes him return to Anil?
Answer: Hari Singh believed that if he could read and write like an educated man, he would be able to accomplish anything. However, his feelings toward the prospect of schooling evolved with time. He started questioning after stealing Anil’s money. He believed that if he learnt entire words, he would be able to make more than a few hundred rupees. Money is less important to him here. He believed that education would enable him to grow into a powerful, intelligent, and well-respected individual. He believed Anil was the only person who could help him achieve his goal. As a result, he returned to Anil to further his education.
2. Why does not Anil hand the thief over to the police? Do you think most people would have done so? In what ways is Anil different from such employers?
Answer: Because he is a generous man, Anil does not turn the thief over to the police. Hari Singh was a thief, he already knew. He retained him, nevertheless. Hari Singh was stirred by his true love for the thief. Hari Singh had returned to Anil solely because he wanted to stop stealing. As a result, he was unconcerned. He understood that if the thief was taken to the police station, he would never be disciplined and would instead be labelled a criminal.
However, the majority of people would not have done so. Anil of The Thief’s Story is unlike other individuals in that he was able to reform a thief via his kindness, understanding, and love.
Talk about it
1. Do you think people like Anil and Hari Singh are found only in fiction, or are there such people in real life?
Answer: People like Anil and Hari Singh, I believe, may be found in both fiction and real life. However, there aren’t many of them.
2. Do you think it is a significant detail in the story that Anil is a struggling writer? Does this explain his behaviour in any way?
Answer: The fact that Anil is a struggling writer is undoubtedly important to the story (The Thief’s Story). He doesn’t have a consistent source of income. He, on the other hand, has a big heart. As soon as he receives money, he spends it recklessly. He is unconcerned about money. This demonstrates his ability to make changes in his life without being bothered.
3. Have you met anyone like Hari Singh? Can you think and imagine the circumstances that can turn a fifteen-year-old boy into a thief?
Answer: No, I’ve never met somebody like Hari Singh from The Thief’s Story, but their existence is undeniable. Circumstances such as acute poverty, being orphaned at a young age, and other factors can lead a fifteen-year-old boy to become a thief.
4. Where is the story set? Which language or languages are spoken in these places? Do you think the characters in the story spoke to each other in English?
Answer: The story The Thief’s Story is set in a city with a railway station and is connected to it by rail. The location is a town, and Lucknow is only a short distance away. The name ‘Jumna Sweet Shop’ implies that people there speak Hindi, English, and other Indian languages.
I don’t think when the story’s characters converse to one another, they use English.
Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions
1. How did the thief (Hari Singh) figure out that Anil was aware of the theft?
Answer: Because several of the notes were still damp, as if they had been taken out in the rain, the thief realised Anil knew he had stolen his money. He gave Hari Singh a fifty-rupee note the next morning and promised to give him additional money, despite the fact that he had no obligation to do so.
2. How did Hari know that Anil had forgiven him for the theft?
Answer: Because some of the notes were still wet, Hari Singh deduced that Anil was aware of the theft. He handed him a fifty-rupee note and said nothing about the theft. This gave him the impression that Anil had forgiven him.
3. In this story, who is the ‘I’? What was the reason for changing his name every month?
Answer: In this story, ‘I’ is a 15-year-old thief with a record of success. To keep his true identity hidden from his new employer and the police, he changes his name every month.
4. Why is it simpler to rob a greedy man than a careless one like Anil, according to Hari Singh?
Answer: Hari Singh has linked theft to a feeling of fulfilment; a thief takes joy when a person learns that he has been robbed. According to Hari Singh, a greedy man can afford to be robbed, whereas a careless one may never realise he has lost something or has been robbed. This negligence on the part of the robbed person deprives a thief of the joy he derives from stealing.
5. What was the thief’s first reaction after stealing Anil’s money?
Answer: Hari Singh crept out of the room with 600 rupees in his hand. He began sprinting as soon as he got on the road. He kept the notes in his waistband, which he held in place with his pyjama’s string. For a week or two, he imagined himself to be an oil-rich Arab.
6. What prompted the thief to return to Anil?
Answer: Hari Singh returned to Anil because he had earned Anil’s trust. He didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to learn. He may undoubtedly become a better man as a result of his education. He was tired of living the life of a thief, which consisted of stealing and being apprehended and punished.
7. What did Anil do for a living? What did he do with the money he made?
Answer: Anil was a writer. He used to write magazine articles. He was a scrooge who used to spend all of his money on his friends. He made no effort to put money aside for his future.
8. What does the thief say about different types of people’s reactions to being robbed? What did he imagine Anil’s reaction would be if he found out about the theft?
Answer: The thief has robbed people from all walks of life. He claimed that the greedy folks were afraid of being robbed. The wealthy men were enraged. After being robbed, the poor men accepted their destiny. He expected Anil to show merely a hint of melancholy. He would be disappointed not because of the loss of money, but because of the loss of faith.
9. What made him a successful thief?
Answer: After stealing, he constantly changed his name. He was even able to adjust the location. He made every effort to appear pleasant and harmless, so his employers never suspected him of being a thief.
10. Why was he on the verge of being fired? What prompted Anil to rehire him?
Answer: He prepared a dreadful meal, which enraged Anil. He gave the stray dog the food and told him to go. But he was able to reclaim his job by pleasing Anil, a simple and generous man.
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