A Thief’s Story: Summary and Analysis

A Thief’s Story by Ruskin Bond is focused on basic human values and their relationships. It is undoubtedly easy for a thief to rob a greedy man, but it is difficult for them to rob a careless and honest person. The story is about one thief and a warm, honest man.

A Thief’s Story Summary

The 25-years-old writer, Anil, was living life without a care in the world. He was struggling to write something that would help him earn his livelihood. One day, he was watching a wrestling match, and he met Hari. Hari used his old tricks to flatter Anil. Anil was impressed and promised to teach him how to write, do addition, and how to cook. The two started to live together.

One day, Hari noticed that Anil brought a bundle of notes and kept it under the mattress. This made his evil spirits rise up, and he decided to rob Anil that night. After dinner, Anil slept calmly. Hari crept to his bed and slid his hand under the mattress. He got the notes and ran away. He went to the railway station to board a train to Lucknow. However, he missed it. It was raining as he wandered through the bazaars, and he was drenched.

There was a constant conflict in his mind as he did not want to betray the faith Anil instilled in him. Plus, Anil was teaching him how to write and add so that he could turn his life around. Hari left the railway station and went to a field, and sat on the bench. It was raining heavily, and the chilly wind was blowing. His guilt of cheating an innocent person was increasing. His clothes were wedging to his body. 

Also Read:  The Ghat of The Only World Summary and Analysis

Hari has a change of heart and decides to return to Anils. He reached and placed the money under the pillow. The following day, Hari slept till late, and Anil had already made his tea. Anil offered Hari Fifty Rupees and said he had earned it and told him that he would be regularly paid. The note was wet from last night’s rain. Anil knew about Hari’s misdeed but felt no guilt, sadness, or anger.

A Thief’s Story Analysis

Hari was a fifteen-year-old boy. He was a thief and met Anil at a wrestling match. He charmed Anil, won his confidence, and came to his house as a servant. Anil was a writer and did not earn a lot. Hari agreed to work for him just for meals. However, Hari did not know how to cook, and the first meal he cooked had to be given to the dogs. Hari’s appealing smile urged Anil not to turn him out.

Hari did the odd jobs for Anil. He made the morning tea, brought supplies, and made a rupee profit a day out of these purchases. 

Anil did not have a regular income. He earned little by writing articles and stories for the magazines. One day, he came home with a bundle of notes and told Hari that he sold one of his books and earned six hundred rupees. The sight of money made Hari’s mouth water, and he decided to steal it from under the mattress.

Hari stole the money and headed to the railway station to catch the train to Lucknow. He missed the train and walked around the bazaars.  It started to rain, and he was drenched. He remembered Anil and thought how he would feel. He decided to return the money. He returned home.

Also Read:  I Want Something in a Cage: Summary and Analysis

The next day, Anil gave Hari fifty rupees. The note was wet. Hari thought Anil knew of his crime.  Anil told Hari that he had earned something and would pay him regularly.

A Thief’s Story Theme

The story by Ruskin Bond talks about the human values and relations that are essential in life and can transform a person. Hari Singh is a thief. He robbed Anil but did not have the courage to run away with his money because Anil was genuine, and Hari could not hurt him. One’s honesty can change an individual. Hari had a change of heart because of Anil’s values and kindness.

A Thief’s Story Character Sketch

Hari Singh is a thief. He keeps changing names to escape from the police. He operates simply, he earned people’s trust, robs them, and flees. He sees Anil and thinks of robbing him and approached him. Anil allows him to work and teaches him how to cook. Anil teaches him how to write. Hari steals little money every day when he goes to buy groceries. He gets the chance to steal big and takes it. He escapes and has a change of heart.

Anil is a simple man. He has a tall and lean stature and is interested in sports. He is not wealthy. He has both the patience and the kindness to teach Hari to cook, write, and add. He knew that Hari was stealing little and ignored it. He is a writer and made little money. He was generous and gave Hari some money. He forgave Hari for his theft.

Also Read:  Footprints Without Feet: Summary and Analysis

A Thief’s Story Analysis Key Points

The story by Ruskin Bond is about a fifteen-year-old thief, Hari, who changes his name regularly to escape the police. He would gain people’s confidence and then rob them. He met a writer, Anil in a wrestling match and requested employment. He started to live with Anil and got his daily supplies. He gained Anil’s complete trust and learned how to write and add from him. Anil earned some money and showed it. Hari stole the money and ran away. He understood his mistake and returned. He kept the money in the same place. He had a change of heart and decided to alter his ways to become an honest person. Honesty and goodness have the capability to change the evilest of hearts. Anil managed to bring this change in Hari and turn his life around. Hari started to believe in the goodness of leading an honest life.