I'm shocked by Shruthi's divorce plea: Kannada director Mahendar

Shruthi and S Mahendar in happier times

Mahender, who has been inaccessible to the media ever since Shruthi filed for divorce, headed for Bandalli village in Karnataka's Chamrajanagar district to be with his mother.
"I have come here to see my aged mother, who has been utterly devastated by these developments. But now we have come to terms to face the reality that is staring us and even my mother and other relatives have recovered from the initial shock," Mahendar said  in an interview over phone from Bandalli, nearly 200 km from here.

"I have still not understood how all these things happened all of a sudden. The quick developments in the past few days have blunted my thinking capacity. I'm too shocked to think rationally and react to this situation. I didn't have an inkling that Shruthi may go the extent of breaking the relationship. I still care for her and my child," the director said.

"To me saving the marriage is important. But now I think the situation has gone too far. That's the reason why I remained inaccessible to my film industry friends and journalists ever since this unsavoury incident in my life happened," Mahendar added.

Shruthi, who Friday said she will be marrying journalist-turned-director Chandrachud alias Chakri after her divorce plea is accepted, had earlier said that filing for divorce was a difficult decision, but an inevitable one due to a "lot of pain" in her married life.

"Though I had strained relationship with Mahendar, I had consciously decided to keep it with myself. I still hold lot of respect towards Mahendar," the actress had said.
But Mahender rubbished her claims of their relationship being strained.

"Shruthi is obviously lying when she says we didn't enjoy a good relationship for the past eight years. If that was a fact how did she accompany me to all the film and family functions till recently? Shruthi was more eager to present an image of a happily-married wife always...and in a recent TV interview she (even) praised me to skies," a shocked Mahender said.

The director, however, admitted that they had differences, which any normal couple would have.

"I don't say we didn't have any differences, but that's all part of anybody's married life. And as in the case of others, we used to patch up. Till recently both of us were discussing about our child's future. And both of us have campaigned jointly for the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) many times," he stressed.

Both Shruthi and Mahendar are BJP leaders. The latter had contested the recently held assembly elections in Karnataka from Kollegal constituency.

Mahender said he was happy that many of his colleagues in the film industry had come to his support in such a time of crisis and added that he would return to Bangalore Monday.

"This incident has however made me stronger because it has made me realise the level of goodwill I enjoy in the film industry," he said.

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