The play renders the tumultuous life of a petty thief, Charandas curiously he is a man of the play renders the tumultuous life of a petty thief, Chrandas. Curiously, he is a man of principles an honest thief with a strong sense of integrity and professional efficiency. He makes four vows to his Guru that he would never eat in a gold plate, never lead a procession that is in his honour, never become a king and never marry a princess, thinking all of them are far out possibilities for him.
Later, his Guru adds a fifth one - never to tell a lie and sets him off on his life's journey which leads him to a kingdom, where the turn of events make him famous, and eventually he is offered the seat of political power which he has to refuse. Later, the local princess gets enchanted by him and proposes to marry him. This is when his refusal costs him his life.
As he is put to death, he illustrates the inherent paradox in human existence, where truthful existence becomes an impossibility, for the truthful and the accidentally truthful, alike.