Ruskin Bond

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In "The Thief's Story," by Ruskin Bond, what was the thief's real name? 

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We never know the thief’s real name in this story – when he introduces himself to Arun, he lies and says his name is Deepak.  “Deepak was about my fifth name,” he confides to the readers, “I had earlier called myself Ranbir, Sudhir, Trilok and Surinder. “

The thief becomes a cook for Arun, even though he has no skills at cooking – Arun is a kind master and overlooks Arun’s inexperience, teaching him to cook as well as teaching him to write.  It is Arun’s trust, along with his newfound skill at writing, that sends Deepak back to return the money he steals from Arun one night.  He realizes that being able to write sentences opens the door to countless opportunities, and with this one honest gesture the reader can assume that he abandons thievery and adopts a resolution to live a better life.  Despite this change that comes over him, however, at the end of the story he still does not reveal to Arun his real name.  Perhaps we can imagine that he keeps the name Deepak – the name that he held when he became an honest person, with long-term goals and a trusting friend.

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