Crying and sobbing have long been considered the ultimate sign of vulnerability, patented by the fairer sex. But male actors are proudly breaking this gender cliche and weeping their way to glory on the small screen.
Television has invaded the "teary" territory and what was once a sacredly private activity for men has now gone public on the small screen.
Whether it's Manav of Pavitra Rishta, Bhairon of Balika Vadhu, Veer of Uttaran, Ranvir of Bidaai or Shekhar of Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo, all of them seem to be crying at the drop of a hat, taking away the licence to shed tears from the likes of Tulsi, Parvati and Prerna, the typical 'bahus' of Indian television.
"This new trend is revamping the image of men by showing the sensitive side of the otherwise tough body," believes actor Nandish Sandhu, who plays the role of Veer in Uttaran.
"I think emotion is something that every person has. I don't think there is anything wrong if a man cries. Men seen crying on television shows the reality. It debunks the myth that they are stone-hearted and don't have emotions," Nandish told IANS.
Actor Arjun Bijlani, popularly known as Mayank of Miley Jab Hum Tum, finds this image change as "cool"."It's cool to shed tears because this shows that emotions are the same for everyone and men feel in the same way as women do," he said.
"Men do have a softer side, but they don't let it come out owing to conventional notions. They also cry but in isolation. I feel it's more painful to see men cry than women and that is enough to make anyone cry," he added.
Actor Apurva Agnihotri said, "Men on the whole have become emotional in real life as well. This is the reason why they are portrayed like this on television."
The trend of men shedding tears is not just restricted to daily soaps; reality shows have also joined the bandwagon.
From Vindu Dara Singh and Bakhtiyar Irani in Bigg Boss to Shekhar Kapur in India's Got Talent, all of them have had their share of "tissue paper" moments.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur couldn't control his tears when he saw a group of physically challenged children performing on stage while he was judging the first season of the talent show, India's Got Talent.
TV actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who plays Manav, seems to be as emotional in real life as he appears to be on reel. Sushant, who lost his mother in 2002, got emotional seeing his team members with their mothers on the show during the Mother's Day Special episode of dance reality show Zara Nachke Dikha.
An otherwise smiling Shaan was so moved by the performance of teammates Debojit and Anwesha when they sang Tere mere milan ki raina that he burst into tears on Amul Music Ka Maha Muqabala.
Even Mika broke down while singing Bade achche lagte hain on the same show.
With the new trend setting in, the conventional notion that men don't cry is on its way out.
(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at