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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
Class 10
Class 12

The Thief's Story | Class X | English

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

NCERT Solution:

Read & Find Out ( Page 8)

Q1. Who does 'I' refer to in this story?

Ans: 'I ' in this story refers to the narrator, a fifteen-year-old thief who calls himself Hari Singh.

Q2. What is he 'a fairly successful hand ' at ?

Ans: The narrator is ' a fairly successful hand' at stealing.

Q3. What does he get from Anil in return for his work?

Ans: In return for his work, he gets food to eat and Anil's balcony to sleep on. Anil also teaches him how to write his name.

Read and Find out ( Page 10)

How doe the thief think Anil will react to the theft?

Ans: The thief thinks that Anil will be sad at the loss of trust in him and not at the loss of his money.

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

Ans: Yes, Anil realises that he had been robbed. Although he does not show it or speak about it, the thief understands that Anil knows about the theft.

Think About It ( page 13)

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?

Ans: Hari singh is very happy when when Anil first teaches him to write his name and assures him to teach him to write whole sentences as well as to add numbers. He is pleased and grateful because he thinks that once he can write like an educated man, he can use this to hone his skills at robbing and stealing. However, his reaction is different at the end of the story when he realises that education would help him be a a really big man, a clever and respected person . That would be a better prospect than being a skilled thief.

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?

Ans: Anil does not hand the thief over to the police because he is kind and perceptive. He knows that although Hari had stolen the money, he had returned it, so Anil appreciates the change in Hari. Perhaps Anil realises that this is an opportunity for him to reform Hari and turn him into an educated and respectable persons. He wants to give Hari a second chance. Most people would have handed the thief over to the police. However, Anil is different. He believes in handling the situation in a sensitive manner so that the thief can get a chance to change for the better.


  • The story highlights the total transformation of a thief’s life due to trust placed in him by his employer.

  • The story revolves around Hari Singh, a fifteen-year old thief, who influences Anil to appoint him a cook.

  • Anil -a young, struggling writer in his twenties is simple and easy going.

  • The kind and empathetic nature of Anil changes the habit of Hari, who decides to devote his time in studies.

Story Sequence

  • Hari Singh-a 15-yr-old thief- approached Anil while he was watching a wrestling match.

  • Hari used flattering words to gain Anil’s favour and they struck up a conversation.

  • Hari expressed his wish to work for Anil.

  • Anil agreed to feed Hari only if he knew how to cook.

  • Hari lied that he could cook in order to gain his confidence.

  • Anil took Hari home over Jumna Sweet Shop and asked Hari to sleep in the balcony.

  • The meal cooked by Hari was terrible. So Anil gave the meal to a stray dog.

  • Anil patted Hari’s head and told him that he would teach him how to cook.

  • Anil taught Hari how to write his name and promised to teach him write whole sentences and to add numbers.

  • Hari started making tea in the morning and was entrusted a duty of buying provisions for Anil.

  • He used to make a profit of one rupee everyday out of everyday ration.

  • One evening Anil came back with a bundle of currency notes he had got from selling a book he had written to a publisher.

  • He kept the money under the mattress and slept peacefully.

  • He brushed away his thoughts and decided to execute the robbery the same night, as Anil would’ve otherwise wasted the money on his friends.

  • Hari crawled up Anil’s bed when Anil was asleep. He slid his hand under the mattress and drew the money out quietly.

  • He rushed out of the room and began to run on the road. He had secured the money with the string of his pyjama.

  • He was heading towards the railway station to catch 10.30 express to Lucknow as planned.

  • He was elated when he counted the money on his way.

  • Hari reached the station but something unexplainable stopped him.

  • He decided to leave the station and thought how would Anil feel when he would come to know about the theft.

  • Hari had realised the fact that he would lose the chance to learn how to read and write.

  • He decided to go back to Anil, if only for the sake of learning how to read and write.

  • Hari crept up to Anil’s bed, quickly took out the currency notes and placed the notes under the mattress. Then he went off to sleep in the balcony.

  • Hari woke up late in the morning. He found that Anil had already prepared tea.

  • Anil gave a fifty rupee note to Hari, telling him that he had earned some money by selling a book to a publisher

  • Henceforth, he would pay him regularly.

  • Hari was motivated but he could make out that Anil knew everything though he didn’t say anything to him about it.

  • Anil does not show that he knows about the theft and accepts Hari Singh with open arms.

  • Thus, a well -intentioned person tries to reform a teenager who has strayed from the correct path.


  • A 15 year old thief, Hari, makes friendship with a struggling writer. Anil.

  • Anil, a respectable person, wants to teach Hari Singh how to read and write.

  • One day Hari Singh stole the money which Anil had earned by selling a book to a publisher.

  • He was heading towards the railway station to catch 10.30 express to Lucknow as planned.

  • But he returns to Anil from the railway station.

  • Thus, an easy going and respectable person like Anil transformed a professional thief into becoming a responsible citizen towards the end of the story.

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