Haryana State Board HBSE 10th Class English Solutions Footprints without Feet Chapter 2 The Thief’s Story Textbook Exercise Questions and Answers.
Haryana Board 10th Class English Solutions Footprints without Feet Chapter 2 The Thief’s Story
HBSE 10th Class English The Thief’s Story Textbook Questions and Answers
Think about It
Read and Find Out (Page – 8)
1. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?
In this story, ‘I’ refers to the thief.
2. What is he “a fairly successful hand” at?
He is “a fairly successful hand” at stealing and robbing people.
3. What does he get from Anil in return for his work?
When Hari Singh asked Anil if he could work for him, Anil said that he could not pay him. Finally, the agreement was that if he would cook, then Anil would feed him. However, Anil soon found out that he did not know how to cook. Therefore, he taught him how to cook and later on how to write his name. He promised that he would teach him how to write whole sentences and how to add numbers. Apart from this, when Hari Singh went out to buy the day’s supplies, he would make a profit of a rupee a day.
Read and Find Out (Page -10)
How does the thief think Anil will react to the theft?
The thief thought that on discovering the theft, Anil’s face would show a touch of sadness. The sadness would not be for the loss of money, but for the loss of trust.
2. What does he say about the different reactions of people when they are robbed?
As a thief, he had leamt how to make a study of men’s faces when they lost their goods. He
said that the greedy men showed fear; the rich men showed anger and the poor men showed acceptance.
3. Does Anil realise that he has been robbed?
Yes, Anil had realized that he had been robbed. He knew this probably because all the notes were wet and damp from the rain. However, he did not say anything to the thief and behaved normally.
Think about It
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?
Initially, when Anil offered to educate him, he thought of it as a bright prospect for himself. He knew that once he could write such as an educated man, there would be no limit to what he could achieve in his field. For him, the motivation behind getting educated was robbing people. However, later, when he had stolen Anil’s money and then missed his train in which he would have escaped, he realized that he had completely forgotten about the whole sentences that Anil had promised to teach him to write. He thought about getting educated in a different light. He thought that it was a simple matter to steal and be caught, but to be a really big, clever and respected man was something else. He was inspired by the trusting and simple nature of Anil. This motivation to earn someone’s trust and be respectable made him return to Anil.
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?
Anil does not hand over the thief to the police because he realized that Hari Singh had learnt his lesson and had changed for the better. Otherwise, he would never have come back and kept the money at the same place from where he had stolen it. Anil even knew how Hari Singh cheated him of a rupee a day while buying the day’s supplies. But he never said anything to him. This is such a case where most people would have handed him over to the police. Anil was different from such employers because he was a modest and trusted man. He had offered to teach Hari how to cook and also to educate him. When he found out that Hari Singh had stolen the money, but had kept it back, he knew that it was Hari’s conscience that had made him do so. He could have easily run off with the money, but he did not. This made Anil give him another chance and build him into a better person that he could already see him becoming.
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?
Yes, people like Anil and Hari Singh are found in real life. They are not merely characters of fiction. The persons like Anil who is humble, helpful, responsible and caring do exist in reality. Anil helped Hari Singh by allowing him to stay and feed at his abode. He taught him how to read and write, which shows him as a responsible person.
Contrary to it, Hari Singh was a thief initially. He was only interested in robbing people and had only goal, to steal.
It is reflected in the way of his thinking when he perceives the ability of reading and writing as an enhancement to his stealing skills. But later, his heart changes for good and he perceives education as a way of living a decent life. People like Hari Singh also exist who were bad at first but as life unfolds, they become good humans.
2. Do you think it a significant detail in the story that Anil is a struggling writer? Does this explain his behaviour in any way?
Yes, this detail of Anil being a struggling writer is a significant detail. Being a struggling writer, he used to earn on some days only. This detail explains his behaviour of being tenacious and not to opt for shortcuts and wrong ways of getting money. Despite getting money intermittently, he didn’t plan any conspiracy of stealing. Rather he taught Hari Singh how to read and write.
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?
Do it yourself.
4. Where is the story set? (You can get clues from the names of the persons and places mentioned in it.) Which language or languages are spoken in these places? Do you think the characters in the story spoke to each other in English?
The story is set in slum area of one of Uttar Pradesh’s cities. In Uttar Pradesh, Hindi language is spoken and the characters in the story were talking in Hindi only. It can be referred from the instance of Hari Singh, since he was illiterate and couldn’t speak English. Words like maidan, bazaar show that the language they used was Hindi.
HBSE 10th Class English The Thief’s Story Important Questions and Answers
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Why did Hari Singh not have many friends?
In Hari Singh’s opinion, friends were more troubles than help. Moreover, he did not intend to make anyone curious about him.
Why did Anil hire Hari Singh?
Hari Singh showed his desire to work for Anil but he was not in a position to pay him. Hari Singh asked if he could feed him. Then Anil replied if he knew how to cook then he might work for him.
What did Anil do to earn his living?
Anil was a writer. He used to write for the magazines to earn his living. He had no regular source of income.
Why, according to Hari Singh, was it difficult to rob a careless man?
According to Hari Singh it was an easy job to rob a greedy man as he could afford to be robbed. But it was difficult to rob a careless man because he would hardly notice that he had been robbed and that would take all the pleasure out of stealing.
Why did Hari Singh approach Anil?
Hari Singh was a thief who had not much luck in his work recently. So he approached Anil with the intention of robbing him, as he seemed to be an easygoing and simple man. According to Hari Singh winning Anil’s confidence was an easy task.
‘Anil walked away. I followed casually’. Why do you think the narrator followed Anil?
The narrator’s purpose of robbing Anil had not yet been served. He followed Anil to gain his
trust and look for an opportunity that may help him give shape to his plans.
Did Hari like working for Anil? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Yes, Hari liked working for Anil. He was happy to carry on the chores for him and was grateful for the education he was getting. He used to make profit of about a rupee a day as well, which was a decent amount besides being fed.
How do you think Anil may have come to know about the theft?
Anil may have come to know about the theft because of the dampness of the notes drenched in rain. He was a kind but wise man. It wouldn’t have been difficult for Anil to make out the series of events that would have taken place in the night.
Short Answer Type Questions
Why did Hari Singh tell a lie to Anil about his cooking?
Hari Singh wanted to go along with Anil as he had evil plan of robbing him in his mind. In order to execute his plan, he was looking for an opportunity to stay with him, so Hari Singh asked if he could feed him. Before answering to his question, Anil asked if he could cook. As Hari Singh did not know how to cook even then he said that he knew it. He saw himself of losing out on an opportunity for manifesting his plans into reality. To keep his plans in place and not losing contact with Anil, Hari lied about his cooking.
Regarding which context did Hari Singh feel grateful? Why?
After cooking terribly, Anil told Hari Singh that he would teach him cooking food. He taught him to write his name and promised to teach him to write whole sentences and to add numbers. In this context, Hari Singh felt grateful as he knew that once he could write like an educated man, there would be no limit to what he could achieve.
Was Hari Singh successful in robbing Anil? Was Anil the only one who was robbed or did Hari Singh also rob himself of something?
Yes, Hari Singh was successful in robbing Anil. But Anil was not the only one who was robbed at that time. Hari had robbed himself as well. He had lost the chance of receiving education and being literate. He had robbed Anil monetarily but he had robbed himself of the chance for a better and brighter future, which was much more valuable.
What did Anil and Hari Singh agree upon to be the mode of payment?
When Anil stated his inability to pay Hari Singh he questioned Hari if he could feed him. Herealised that he had misjudged his target and moulded the situation for his benefit. Anil then agreed to feed him if he knew how to cook.
What made Hari Singh go back to Anil’s house?
Hari Singh realised the importance of education he was getting from Anil. He knew that learning how to read and write and being a literate person would open doors to many opportunities. He was sure that he would then be able to earn more than a few hundred rupees he had in hand at that time. This made him go back to Anil.
What incidents took place on the night of the theft?
The night of robbery was quite eventful for Hari Singh. After stealing Anil’s money and leaving his house, Hari Singh went to the railway station but didn’t board the Lucknow Express. He walked slowly through the bazaar as he did not know anyone who would provide him shelter except Anil, for he didn’t have any friends. He was forced to take shelter under the clock tower later when it started raining heavily. That is where he realised the importance of education and decided to go back to Anil.
How was the morning after the night of the theft?
The morning after the night of the theft was just like a normal one. Hari Singh woke up late and Anil had made tea by then. Anil gave a fifty rupee note to Hari Singh and told him that he would then be paid regularly. He was aware that Anil knew about the theft but he didn’t show anything.
Had Anil really forgiven Hari Singh? Support your answer with evidence.
Yes, Anil had forgiven Hari Singh. It is evident because Anil handed over to Hari Singh a fifty rupee note as soon as he woke up. Though he knew that Hari Singh had robbed the money at the first instance but his subsequent actions gave him hope of change in his character.
Essay Type Questions
‘He was the most trusted person I had ever met.’ Elucidate it with reference to the lesson.
After talking to Anil, Hari Singh comprehended Anil’s nature quite well. Even after knowing about telling lie of cooking, Anil allowed him to work for him and also taught him how to cook. Hari Singh knew every subtle trick of his stealing job. He made one rupee every time he bought the day’s supplies. Though Anil knew about it, he did not mind it at all. He had, in fact, given one of his keys to Hari Singh. This made him think about Anil that he was the most trusted person and it became quite difficult for him to rob a trusting and careless person. Notwithstanding all these kinds of situations, Hari Singh stole the money from Anil one night. Anil also knew about the theft but didn’t show that he saw Hari Singh placing the money back under the mattress.
Trust begets trust. Finally, Hari Singh realised that the only person who could help him was the man whom he had robbed. Naturally, Anil was the most trusted person Hari had ever come across. Later he also rewarded Hari Singh by giving him a fifty-rupee-note and promising to pay him regularly.
‘Money can’t make a man as much as education can! Elucidate the statement.
The statement stands true in almost all the aspects of life. Money may buy us all the luxuries and fulfil our needs but it cannot buy us knowledge, civilised thinking, skills and abilities to achieve our dreams. Education lays the platform for all to act upon our goals according to our abilities. It enables us to keep up with the fast moving world. It opens the door to opportunities we do not know even exist. Money, on the other hand, can assist us to a certain level. It can buy us a plan but education gives us the knowledge of its execution. Just as in the story ‘A Thief’s Story’, Hari Singh prioritised the chance of being literate over a few hundred rupees, we must understand that education can help us to achieve whatever we desire.
Hari Singh didn’t board the Lucknow Express and returned to Anil. Why did he return? On what values does this incidence put light on?
Hari Singh was a thief and he had stolen Anil’s money. After the theft, he realised that he had robbed not only Anil but also himself of the chance of being literate and having a bright future. His conscience pricked him to think what all he could have got had he not done this. It was difficult for him to rob Anil but it was tougher for him not to back. He realised that he could not make tea, buy daily supplies and learn how to read and write then. His inner self did not agree to bypass this and forced him to return.
Hari Singh return to Anil shows that despite indulging in criminal acts, he still had a practical and positive attitude towards life. It is the awakening of his conscience and Anil’s love and care that reformed Hari Singh’s character. It teaches us that love alone can change a person. Anil’s understanding nature and care changed Hari Singh’s thinking to mend his ways for good.
The Thief’s Story Summary
‘The Thief’s Story’ Introduction
About the Author
- Ruskin Bond is an award winning Indian author of British descent, much renowned for his role in promoting children’s literature in India.
- A prolific writer, he has written over 500 short stories, essays and novels. His popular novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ was made into a Hindi film of the same name which was awarded the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film, in 2005.
- He is also the author of more than 50 books for children and two volumes of autobiography.
- Bom as the son of a British couple when India was under the colonial mle, he spent his early childhood in Jamnagar and Shimla.
- His childhood was marred by his parents’ separation and his father’s death.
- He sought solace in reading and writing, and wrote one of his first short stories at the age of 16.
- He then moved to the U.K. in search of better prospects, but returned to India after some years.
- He earned his living by freelancing as a young man, writing short stories and poems for newspapers and magazines.
- He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014.
Gist of the Story
Anil, a young writer used to write for the magazines to earn money. One day Anil was watching a wrestling match and Hari Singh knew it well how to befriend an unknown person. He used his own formula of flattering the person. Thus, he befriended Anil and started living with him. Anil taught him how to cook tasty food and how to write and add numbers. Hari Singh would buy daily needs and have profit of one rupee daily. Anil knew it but he did not mind it.
One day he saw Anil putting a bundle of notes under the mattress. He decided to rob Anil that night. After taking dinner Anil slept peacefully. Hari crept to the bed and slipped his hand under the mattress. He found the notes and ran away on the road. He also made up his mind that he would directly go to the railway station and would catch the Lucknow Express.
As he reached the railway station, good sense prevailed in him. The inner voice told him not to betray Anil. The train was moving but Hari did not dare to catch it. He thought that Anil would not worry about the money but he might feel bad that the man had broken his trust. He did not want to lose trust of Anil. He felt more uncomfortable as he had cheated an innocent person.
Then he went to the Clock Tower to save himself from the rain. He found that all the notes were wet. He crept again and secretly put back the money under the mattress. The next day Anil woke up and handed over fifty rupee note to Hari and told him that he would be regularly paid now. Hari took the note and found that it was still wet. He understood that Anil knew about the last night episode.
‘The Thief’s Story’ Summary
Anil’s meeting with Hari Singh: Hari who was only 15 years old met Anil. He was watching a wrestling match when Hari approached him. Anil was a tall, lean fellow of 25 years. He looked easy¬going, kind and simple enough for his purpose. Hari Singh wanted to take Anil into his confidence. To avoid arrest from the police, he changed his name frequently. This time he introduced himself as Hari Singh.
Hari Singh wanted to work for Anil: Hari Singh wanted to do work for Anil. But Anil was not in a condition to pay him in lieu of his service. Anil asked him if he could cook. Hari Singh lied that he knew how to cook. But the food that he cooked that night was really terrible. That was why Anil gave all food to the stray dog. He also taught Hari Singh how to write his name, to add numbers and write whole sentences.
Working for Anil, a better experience: It was really a pleasant experience for Hari Singh to work for Anil. He made tea in the morning and bought the day’s supplies. It fetched him a profit of about a rupee per day. This way he made little money.
No regular source of income: Anil had no regular source of income. He wrote for magazines only. He borrowed for one week and lent the next. He always remained worried for his next cheque.
Anil’s money was stolen: One day Anil had sold out a book to a publisher. So he came out with a small bundle of notes. He put it under the mattress. Hari Singh had the experience of cheating on the shopping. The key of the door was also with him. All things were left on him. He was the most trusted person of Anil. According to him, it was difficult to rob a careless man like Anil. When Anil was sleeping, he took the money and quickly wandered out of the room. After coming out of the room, he walked slowly and counted the notes of 600 rupees in fifties. This way, he could live like an oil-rich Arab for a week or two.
Good sense prevailed: When Hari Singh was about to jump into one of the compartments of the Lucknow Express, he hesitated a little bit and left the train.
Hari Singh alone in this world: Hari Singh was now alone in this world. He had no friends. The only person whom he knew really well was the man whom he had robbed. He left the railway station.
Study of different faces: Within his short span of career as a thief, he had learnt how to make study of men’s faces. The greedy man showed fear, the rich man showed anger and the poor man showed acceptance. But, in this case, it was not for the loss of money but for the loss of trust.
Hari Singh returned to Anil’s house: Hari Singh returned to Anil’s house with his money. It had got wet due to the rain last night. He had forgotten about education in the name of theft. He opened the door quietly and put the notes under the mattress. When Hari Singh met Anil the next morning, he gave him a fifty-rupee note and even explained that he would be paid regularly.
Anil did not say anything: Anil told Hari Singh that now they would start writing sentences. He knew all the things but neither his lips nor his eyes showed anything.
Lesson at a Glance
- A boy named Hari Singh met Anil.
- Although he was 15 years old, he was very experienced and had fairly successful hand.
- Anil was a tall, lean fellow. He was 25 years of age.
- Anil was watching a wrestling match when Hari Singh approached him.
- After the introduction, Anil talked about the famous wrestlers.
- Hari Singh wanted to work for Anil. But he was not in a position to pay him.
- Anil asked if he could cook for him.
- Hari Singh was taken over the Jumna Sweet Shop where he was told to sleep on the balcony.
- The meal that Hari Singh had cooked that night was very terrible. So, Anil gave it to a stray dog.
- Later on, Anil told him not to get worried and he would teach him how to cook.
- Anil also taught Hari Singh how to read and write, make whole sentences and to add numbers.
- Hari Singh was working pleasantly for Anil.
- He would also take time buying the day’s supplies and made a profit of about a rupee a day.
- One evening, Anil came out with a small bundle of notes. He told that he had just sold a book to a publisher. He kept his money under the mattress.
- Hari Singh was working for Anil for almost a month. He had the only experience of cheating on the shopping.
- Anil had given him a key to the door. So he could come and go frequently; whenever he liked.
- Anil was the most trusted person for Hari Singh.
- It is easy to rob a greedy man but difficult to rob a careless man.
- While Anil was sleeping, he took out the money and quickly crawled out of the room.
- After coming out on the road, he started running. He counted the notes. There were 600 rupees in fifties.
- Hari Singh thought that he could live like a rich Arabian for a week or two.
- After reaching at the platform, he just wanted to board the Lucknow Express. It was just to pick up the momentum. Hari Singh wanted to jump into one of the compartments but he hesitated due to some reason.
- He had no friends. He believed that friends were more trouble than help.
- Hari Singh thought that the only person whom he knew really well was the man he had robbed.
- Hari Singh had done the study of men’s faces very minutely. According to his observation, the rich man showed anger, the poor man showed acceptance, but Anil’s face showed only sadness.
- This sort of sadness was not for the loss of money but for the loss of trust.
- In the excitement of theft, Hari Singh had forgotten about all the things which Anil had made accessible to him.
- Hari Singh thought that he should go back to Anil.
- He went back to the room and put the wet notes under the mattress from where he had stolen it.
- Next morning, Anil stretched out his hand towards him and kept a fifty-rupee note between his fingers.
- Anil told that now he would pay him regularly.
- In fact, Anil knew everything about the theft but didn’t show or tell anything about it.
Anil: Anil is the main character of the story. He is a very kind, noble and generous man. He loves wrestling very much so he watches it. He is not economically sound. So, he cannot employ Hari Singh as a cook. Later, he not only teaches Hari how to cook, but also how to read, write and add numbers. Anil is quite acquainted with the fact that Hari Singh steals money but he ignores such thing. Anil writes for magazines and earns money. Although he earns money by hard means, he keeps them under the mattress. Moreover, when Hari Singh tried to steal money, Anil did not pay heed to it. He even told Hari Singh that now he would be paid regularly. Anil knew everything but did not say anything to him.
Hari Singh: The real name of the narrator of the story is not Hari Singh. He frequently changed his name. To escape from the arrest of police, he changed his name to Hari Singh. He goes to Anil for some work. He has no capacity to pay him. He even teaches Hari Singh how to cook food and also how to read, write and add. He even steals a little money from the groceries of Anil daily. Hari Singh even takes the money of Anil which he keeps under the mattress. Hari makes up his mind to steal the money and goes to the station to board the Lucknow Express. But good sense prevails and he returns to Anil with his money. This way, he keeps the door of friendship open.
‘The Thief’s Story’ Word-Meanings