Recently, Mauritius Tourism had invited me to visit that Island nation. During this trip, I also visited Curious Corner, an illusion-filled abode in Southwest Mauritius. My account of this visit appeared in BLink – the weekend Magazine of The Hindu’s Business Line. The published article is reproduced below.
My Article – Enter the Illusion
A house in the southwest corner of Mauritius is the most intriguing tribute to Dutch artist MC Escher.
Through his works, MC Escher, Dutch artist and master of illusions, proved that nothing is impossible. Inspired by geometry, nature and shapes, he created illusions that perplexed the left brain.
In the sprawling Chamarel Estate, tucked away in the southwest of Mauritius, lies Curious Corner — a larger-than-life reminder of Escher. Most of us have been brought up on the dictum “seeing is believing”. We are used to the blacks and whites. This house of illusions persuades you to deal in greys.
The first room in Curious Corner is a library-cum-cigar-room. “There is a secret door here. Find it if you wish to progress!” we were told. We pushed the walls, nudged the bookshelves, took out light bulbs from the lamps — in short, tried everything we’d read in childhood detective novels, but nothing worked. We were, quite literally, shown the door, but I am not going to spill the beans here. We passed through that door into a world that was topsy-turvy. Up ahead, there were videos jam-packed with illusions that boggled the mind. As if that weren’t enough, the next door took us into the Hall of Illusions. Remember the climax scene fight between Mr Han and Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon? This was no different. Before we stepped out, we were ushered into a lift. The illusion of the missing floor and a gaping shaft below left us breathless.
If you are curiously inclined, visit this corner of the tiny island. It has it all — Möbius strips to Penrose triangles, not-so-parallel parallels to not-so-straight straight lines, an inverted world to a bulge without a bulge.