The Thief’s Story: Revision Notes Class 10 English

‘The Thief’s Story’ Notes Class 10: The Thief’s Story is a short story from Ruskin Bond’s anthology Collected Short Stories. Through this story, Ruskin Bond shows the transformation of a thief to an honest man through self-realisation. The author gives the message that the kindness and love of people can change people for good.

Summary: The Thief’s Story

Broadly, The Thief’s Story can be divided into:

  • Hari Meets Anil
  • Hari’s Desire To Work For Anil
  • Anil Educates Hari
  • Anil’s Unstable Income
  • Anil Gets Robbed
  • Hari’s Dilemma
  • Hari Returns With Anil’s Money

Hari meets Anil

  • Hari Singh was a fifteen-year-old thief.
  • Hari Singh wasn’t his real name. He used a different name every month to avoid getting caught.
  • The first time Hari met Anil was at a wrestling match. Anil looked like the perfect mark – simple, kind and easy-going.

Hari’s desire to work for Anil

  • Hari approached Anil and complimented him on his looks.
  • He told Anil he wanted to work for him.
  • Anil replied that he couldn’t pay him. So, Hari agreed to work for food and even lied that he could cook.
  • So, Anil agreed and took him in.

Anil Educates Hari

  • The dinner Hari made was so bad that Anil gave it to some stray dogs and told Hari to leave.
  • Anil relented. He let Hari stay and taught him how to cook.
  • He also taught Hari how to write his name and promised that one day Hari would learn how to write whole sentences and add numbers.
  • Hari found it easy to work for Anil. Every day he would make tea in the morning.
  • Then, he would go to the market to buy supplies. He always made a rupee’s profit every time.

Anil’s Unstable Income

  • Anil was a writer and did not make a steady income.
  • When he did, he would go out and celebrate. When he didn’t, he would borrow and worry about his next paycheque.
  • One day, Anil came home flush with several banknotes. He had just sold a book to a publisher.
  • He safely hid the money under his mattress.

Anil Gets Robbed

  • Hari made up his mind to steal the money Anil had got.
  • He carefully extracted the money from under the mattress and ran until he came to a bazaar by the station.
  • There, he slowed down and counted the money. There were six hundred rupees in the bundle!
  • Hari thought he would live like a king for the next week or two.

Hari’s Dilemma

  • He came to the station. The Lucknow Express was just leaving the platform. If he ran, he could easily jump into one of the compartments. But something stopped him.
  • Hari stood still and watched as the train left.
  • Having nowhere to go, Hari started walking aimlessly and came to a maidan and sat on a bench thinking about Anil’s reaction.
  • Anil, he knew, would feel sad – not at the loss of money – but at the loss of trust.
  • It started to rain. Soaked, Hari made his way back to the bazaar.
  • He took out the notes. Then, he thought about his time spent with Anil.
  • He remembered that Anil had promised to teach him to write whole sentences.
  • One day, he thought, knowing whole sentences would bring him more than thieving could.
  • After all, stealing was easy. But becoming a clever and well-respected man – that was better.

Hari Returns With Anil’s Money

  • Hari went back to Anil and put the money back under the mattress.
  • The next day, when he woke up Anil was already making tea.
  • Anil gave him a fifty rupee note as part of his wages. Then, he declared that they were going to learn whole sentences.
  • Hari realised that Anil knew what had happened. But Anil didn’t say anything.
  • Moved, Hari gave Anil a smile – a genuine, heartfelt smile.


The major themes of the chapter are :

  • Trust vs Betrayal
  • Importance of Values and Relationships

Trust vs Betrayal

  • The author brings out the theme of Trust v/s Betrayal through the two major characters of the story, Anil and Hari respectively.
  • Anil trusts Hari and not only gives him shelter under his roof but also teaches him the skills of cooking and writing.
  • Hari, on the other hand, robs Anil and flees.
  • Through these instances, the author creates a striking contrast between the two characters and how they perceive the world.

Importance Of Values And Relationships

  • The author reveals how human values and relations can change a person for better through Hari’s character.
  • Being a thief, Hari Singh was used to deceiving people and cheating them effortlessly. But the warmth of Anil’s heart melted his harsh exterior and made him realise his folly and become a better person.

Character Sketch

The major characters in the story are:

  • Hari Singh
  • Anil

Hari Singh

Dishonest: Hari Singh was a fifteen-year-old thief, who used fake names to avoid getting caught.

Untrustworthy: Hari conned people. He also stole money from Anil, who trusted him and promised to educate him and serve him his daily bread.

Inquisitive: Hari was happy to know that Anil would teach him how to write full sentences. He knew that learning to write would bring him success.

Cognizant: Although he stole from Anil, he stood in a dilemma and eventually learned that he couldn’t cheat a man who helped him selflessly.


Kind: Anil, a writer by profession, was a kind and simple man. He was compassionate and accepted Hari into his home.

Helpful: When Anil learnt that Hari could not cook, he not only taught him to cook but also to read and write.

Forgiving: Despite knowing that Hari had stolen money from him and broken his trust, he forgives Hari and never mentions a word about it.

Trustworthy: He trusted Hari with his money when he sent him for shopping groceries. He also gave Hari the key to his door.

Generous: He paid Hari for his services as soon as he earned the money despite knowing that Hair had stolen it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply