Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Thief's Story by Ruskin Bond Summary and Question Answer Solution Class 10 Footprints Without Feet Chapter 2

Summary of 'The Thief's Story'

The story revolves around two individuals: Hari Singh, a 15-year-old thief, and Anil, a man in his mid-twenties who enjoys watching wrestling matches. Hari, seeking an easy target, approaches Anil, hoping to rob him. However, as they converse, Hari begins to develop a genuine friendship with Anil, who kindly offers him work as a cook, despite knowing about Hari's penchant for stealing.

Over time, Hari becomes fond of working for Anil, preparing meals and assisting with groceries. He occasionally steals one rupee from the grocery money, but Anil doesn't mind, demonstrating immense trust in the young thief.

One day, Anil proudly shows Hari a bundle of money earned from selling a book to a publisher. Although Hari has had ample opportunities to steal from Anil, he refrains due to the trust and care Anil has shown him, making the act seem less appealing.

However, temptation eventually gets the better of Hari, and he decides to steal Anil's money while he sleeps. Intent to escape the city, Hari heads to the train station but hesitates, unsure of the reason for his hesitation. Realising the potential of education and honest work, he returns the stolen money and resolves to change his ways.

The next morning, Anil pays Hari with a wet 50 rupee note, indicating that he knows about the attempted theft. Despite this, Hari feels genuine happiness, knowing that he has saved himself from the wrong path.

The story portrays the transformative power of trust, compassion, and self-realisation, guiding Hari away from a life of crime towards a more honourable and hopeful future.

The Thief’s Story Question Answers

Question 1. What are Hari Singh’s reactions to the prospect of receiving an education? Do they change over time? (Hint: Compare, for example, the thought: “I knew that once I could write like an educated man there would be no limit to what I could achieve” with these later thoughts: “Whole sentences, I knew, could one day bring me more than a few hundred rupees. It was a simple matter to steal — and sometimes just as simple to be caught. But to be a really big man, a clever and respected man, was something else.”) What makes him return to Anil?

Answer: Hari Singh firmly believes that education can lead him to an honest and prosperous life. His conviction about the potential of education remains unwavering. He understands that by acquiring knowledge and skills, he can significantly increase his earnings. Despite his past as a thief, Hari's desire for education doesn't diminish.

The trust, care, and kindness shown by Anil leave a lasting impact on Hari. Anil's belief in him and his willingness to provide food, support, and guidance motivate Hari to return to him. Hari recognizes that Anil's support and teachings are essential for his transformation and growth. Their bond becomes a catalyst for Hari's determination to embrace education and pursue an honest path to a better life.

Question 2. Why does Anil not 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: Anil's decision not to hand over the thief to the police stemmed from his belief that Hari Singh had genuinely realised his mistake and felt remorseful for his actions. Anil sensed Hari's guilt and the sincerity of his desire to change his ways, which led him to return the stolen money. Anil saw an opportunity to offer Hari a chance at redemption and becoming a better person.

In today's world, it is rare to find someone like Anil who possesses such patience and compassion. Most people would likely report a thief to the authorities without considering the possibility of redemption. In modern society, thieves are often seen as criminals, even if they show remorse for their actions. Trusting someone who has broken that trust once takes immense courage. However, despite this, the narrator believes that if a person genuinely realizes their mistake, they should be given a second chance to earn back trust and prove their commitment to change.

Question 3. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?

Answer: In this story, “I” refers to the thief, who introduces himself as Hari Singh.

Question 4. What is he “a fairly successful hand” at?

Answer: He was quite adept at robbing and deceiving people of their money, and he had achieved a fair amount of success in his criminal endeavours.

Question 5. What does he get from Anil in return for his work?

Answer: Upon proposing the idea of working for Anil, the thief learns that Anil cannot afford to pay him. However, they reach an agreement that if the thief can cook for Anil, he will be provided with meals. Realising the thief's lack of cooking skills, Anil takes it upon himself to teach him how to cook, write his name, form complete sentences, and even perform basic arithmetic. In the meantime, Hari also continues his habit of stealing small amounts from the daily grocery money.

Question 6. How does the thief think Anil will react to the theft?

Answer: The thief believed that if Anil discovered the theft, he would indeed feel saddened, not so much because of the monetary loss but more because of the breach of trust.

Question 7. What does he say about the different reactions of people when they are robbed?

Answer: The thief shares his observations, noting that in his experience when someone greedy gets robbed, they exhibit fear; when someone wealthy faces theft, they display anger; and when a poor person is robbed, they tend to accept the situation with resignation.

Question 8. Does Anil realise that he has been robbed?

Answer: Although the notes were soaked and damp from the previous night, Anil likely realized that he had been robbed. Surprisingly, he chose not to confront the thief and instead handed him a 50-rupee note, stating that he would now be paying him a monthly salary going forward.

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