When we were young lads, whenever we needed to be punished for any mischief, we would be asked to do “Thoppukkaranam”. This was done by catching the left ear lobe with one’s right forefinger and thumb and the right ear lobe with the left thumb and forefinger by crossing the arms over. After that contortion was accomplished, we would be given a number of squats depending on the severity of the mischief.
Our father was a great one for this punishment for the three of us, while our sister was spared this excruciating punishment. My father’s decree of the number was usually, “till I tell you to stop”. He would then go away from the room and we would be doing this till he condescended to return. Sometimes, we were asked to do this by visiting our neigbours and do it there so that they could see that we were punished.
In school, I had a teacher who would inevitably catch pairs. He would then ask one of us to hold the other’s ears while crossing our arms over and the other to repeat from the other side. this took some doing I can tell you. After that was accomplished, we would then be asked to do the squats and repeat loudly for the rest of the class to hear “I was bad because of you and you were bad because of me”. This was quite a lark!
This punishment is called Thoppukkaranam in Tamil. This is also done as an obeisance to Ganesha at the time of daily prayers.
This form of punishment/exercise has now become popular in the West as a form of Yoga!
May be somebody will even patent it and ask for royalties! The ways of the world.