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    I went back to the bazaar and sat down in the shelter of the clock tower. The clock showed midnight. I felt for the notes. They were damp from the rain.
    Anil’s money. In the morning he would probably have given me two or three rupees to go to the cinema, but now I had it all. I couldn’t cook his meals, run to the bazaar or learn to write whole sentences any more.
    I had forgotten about them in the excitement of the theft. 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. I should go back to Anil, I told myself, if only to learn to read and write.
Then the thief went back towards the bazaar and sat under the shelter of the clock tower to escape getting wet. The clock showed that it was midnight. The thief then checked the notes, and they were wet. Then again, the thief started thinking that it was Anil’s money and if he had not stolen it, Anil would have surely given him two to three rupees to go to a movie. But now, as he had stolen it, he had it all. Now he won’t be able to make tea or do groceries for Anil anymore, nor would he be able to learn to write whole sentences ever.
The thief had forgotten about the benefits Anil had given him because of the excitement of stealing the money. He knew that if he could learn to read and write, he could earn much more money than these few hundred rupees and that too, honestly. He knew that it was effortless to steal something from someone, but sometimes it was that easy to get caught.
The thief knew that if he learnt to read and write, he could become a prominent and respected man one day. Then the thief told himself that he should go back if he wanted to learn to read and write and also if he wanted to be a big man one day.
From the above paragraphs, one might understand the state of mind of the thief. His sudden decision to steal the money had made him feel guilty. Also, he thinks that he would succeed in his life if he were with him. It also shows that the narrator did not want to become a thief again. He realised his mistakes only after stealing the money. He wished to become a successful person by learning something from Anil.
Meaning of the difficult words:
Damp Slightly wet, especially in a way that is not pleasant or comfortable
ForgotTo be unable to remember a fact, something that happened, or how to do something
Excitement To make someone have strong feelings of happiness and enthusiasm
TheftThe act of dishonestly taking something that belongs to someone else and keeping it
Clever Having or showing the ability to learn and understand things quickly and easily
Pyjamas Soft, loose clothing that is worn in bed and consists of trousers and a type of shirt
Drizzle Rain in very small, light drops
DiscomfortA feeling of being uncomfortable physically or mentally
AngerThe feeling people get when something unfair, painful, or bad happens
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Footprints without Feet. The Thief's Story - Ruskin Bond (pp. 08-13). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.