‘Indulekha’ written by O Chandu Menon published in 1889, was the first modern novel in Malayalam. Here Indulekha was portrayed as a woman of breath taking beauty, high intellectual abilities, artistic talent, and with an education in English and Sanskrit.
The hero of the novel, Madhavan was a member of the English-educated class of Nayars community who was also a first rate Sanskrit Scholar.
Madhavan dressed in Western cloth, but he kept a long tuft of hair, according to his own Nayar community.
Indulekha rejected Surf Nambuthiri, the upper caste foolish landlord and married Madhavan, the educated, handsome young man. After marriage Madhavan joined civil service.
Chandu Menon wrote this novel because he wanted his reader to appreciate the modern, new values of his hero and heroine. But at the same time, he alerted his readers that although Western way of living was attractive, but the wholesome adopting of Western values would destroy our native traditional values. Here, his hero and heroine both adopted Western and Eastern values. Indulekha and Madhavan were the ideal couple who inspired the new generation in a significant way.