Hari Singh was a young boy of fifteen. But he was a thief and a cheat. At a wrestling match, he came across Anil. He won Anil’s confidence and came to his house as a servant.
Anil was a writer and did not earn much. So, Hari Singh agreed to work for him for food. Hari Singh did not know how to cook. The first meal which he cooked for Anil was so bad that Anil threw it to the dogs. But Hari’s appealing smile made Anil give up his decision to turn him out.
Hari Singh did odd jobs for Anil. In the morning he made tea and then brought the day’s supplies from the market. Often he made a profit of a rupee a day out of these purchases.
Anil had no regular income. He earned something by writing articles and stories for magazines. But one day Anil came home with a bundle of notes. He said to Hari that he had earned six hundred rupees by selling one of his books. Hari’s mouth watered at the sight of money. He decided to steal that money. Anil kept the bundle under his mattress and went to sleep.
Now Hari Singh went into the room and silently took the money under the mattress. He went to the railway station to catch the train to Lucknow. But he missed the train and walked in the bazaars. Soon it started raining and Hari was drenched completely.
Then Hari Singh remembered Anil. He imagined how sad Anil would be on finding the money stolen. Hari remembered that Anil used to teach him. He thought that without the education he would remain a thief. But education might make him a big Mtn. So, he decided to return and replace the money. He reached home and silently put the money back under the mattress.
The next morning, Anil gave Hari a 50 rupee note. The note was still wet. Hari thought that his crime had been discovered. But Anil said to him that he had earned something. Now he would pay Hari Singh regularly.
DETAILED SUMMARY (2)
1. Meeting with Anil: The narrator of The Thief’s Story’ is a thief. He was just 15 years old when he met Anil, a writer of about 25 years. Anil was a tall, lean and thin fellow. He looked easy-going, kind and simple enough for the purpose of a thief like a narrator. The thief hadn’t much luck of late. He wanted to win Anil’s confidence. The narrator took a new name every month. He did so to avoid arrest from the police and his former employees. Recently, he introduced himself as Hari Singh.
2. Wanted to Work for Anil: The narrator wanted to work for Anil. But Anil was not a rich man. He couldn’t pay him. The narrator thought for a moment that he has misjudged his target. Anil asked Hari Singh, the thief if he could cook. Hari Singh lied that he could. The food he cooked on that day, was just terrible. Anil had to give it to a stray dog. Anil asked him to go away but the narrator didn’t budge from there. At last, Anil agreed to teach him cooking. Anil also taught Hari singh, the thief, to write his name and to write whole sentences and to add numbers.
3. Hari Singh Grateful for Getting Education: Hari Singh wanted to be educated. He was grateful that, at least, Anil had given him the basic education. He knew that once he could write like an educated man, there would be no limit to what he could achieve. Had Singh found it quite pleasant to work with Anil? He made tea in the morning. He made a profit of one rupee from buying the day’s supplies. Anil knew everything about Had Singh’s stealings but didn’t seem to mind them.
4. No Regular Income of Anil: Anil had no regular income. He made money by fits and starts. He seemed to write for magazines. The day he got the money he would go out and celebrate. Then, he would wait and worry about his next cheque.
5. Anil Robbed of his Money: One evening, Anil came home with a small bundle of notes. He had just sold a book to a publisher. At night, Hari Singh saw him tuck the money under the mattress. Anil had given him a key to the door and he could come and go as he pleased. Anil was the most trusting person he had ever met. It was very difficult to rob him. Sometimes, he didn’t notice that he had been robbed. It took all the pleasure out of Hari Singh’s work. Once, Anil was asleep. Hari Singh thought over the situation. If he stole the money, he could catch the 10:30 Express to Lucknow. He crept up to the bed and sliding his hand under the mattress. He found the notes and drew them out. Anil sighed in his sleep. He turned his side towards Had Singh. The thief (Hari Singh) was startled and quickly came out of the room. On the road, he counted them. They were 600 rupees in fifties. With that money, he could live like a rich Arab for a week or two.
6. Han Singh’s Dilemma: The narrator (the thief) reached the station and dashed straight to the platform. The Lucknow Express was Just moving. He could jump in but hesitate. When the train had gone, he had no idea where to spend the night. He had no friends and didn’t want to stay at one of the hotels. The only person he knew was Anil whom he had robbed. He came to the `maidan’ and sat on a bench. The night was chilly and it had a light drizzle. The notes were damp from the rain.
7. Hari Singh back to Anil with his Money: Had Singh remembered that he had forgotten about his education in the excitement of the theft. He knew that education could one day bring him more than a few hundred rupees. To be a really big man, a clever and respected man, he was to learn reading and writing. He was to be educated. He hurried back to Anil’s room very nervous. He crept to the head of the bed. He held the notes in one hand and slipped them quietly under the mattress. Next morning, Anil stretched out his hand towards the narrator. There was a fifty rupee note between his fingers. Hari Singh’s heart sank. He thought that he had been discovered. Anil made an announcement. He said to Hari Singh that he made some money and Hari would be paid regularly. He also said to that he would teach Had Singh how to write sentences. Anil knew everything about the theft. But neither his lips nor his eyes showed anything.
Main Points of the Story
|1. What is the story "The Thief's Story" about?|
|2. Who is the author of the story "The Thief's Story"?|
|3. What are the main themes explored in "The Thief's Story"?|
|4. How does Hari's character evolve throughout "The Thief's Story"?|
|5. What is the message or moral lesson conveyed in "The Thief's Story"?|