Blue is the tale of Reddumone, or Two-Face, a Lankan spy. It is also the tale of Rama of Ayodhya.
Clever, loyal and powerful, Reddumone is the perfect spy. Noble, strong and brave, Rama is the quintessential king. Their paths cross often, over several decades and across the length of the Indian subcontinent. Against a background of civil wars and murderous coups, the two form a strange, complex friendship. It is a bond marked by mutual respect, divided by loyalty and complicated by a seemingly impossible idea: dharma.
The novel follows Rama’s moral arc: from an unyielding adherence to dharma to a more nuanced understanding of righteousness. Reddumone too follows a similar curve, balancing loyalty and love as he finds his own moral centre.
In this self-assured and complex debut, M.R. Sharan blends mythology with philosophy and spiritual yearning with political machinations. Riveting and convincing, Blue is, ultimately, a love song to Rama, the man and the idea of him. It will forever change the way you read the Ramayana.
M R Sharan
Sharan grew up in Manipal in Karnataka, then a quiet university town sandwiched between the hills and the sea. He loves reading, cricket, writing, music and quantitative research on development in India, not necessarily in that order.
Sharan is currently a PhD student (starting Fall 2014) at the Harvard Kennedy School, having obtained degrees in Economics at the Delhi School of Economics and Hansraj College. He has worked on questions centred around poverty and the MNREGS across three Indian states: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.