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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 09:36 GMT
Novel way to get away from it all
Mr Gaus says that his tree is a refuge from life's stresses

A peace-loving carpenter in crowded Bangladesh has come up with a novel idea to get away from it all and escape life's pressures.

Every day Salim Hossen Gaus winches himself 30m (100 feet) in a precarious home-made pulley to a small wooden platform at the top of a palm tree.

He built the platform to get some peace and quiet and read his favourite books.

His idea has proved so innovative that inquiries about the platforms have flooded in from all over the region.

"I spend four to five hours minimum in the tree reading and writing, listening to the birds chirping," the 25-year-old poet, writer and carpenter told the AFP news agency.

"It is an ideal place to be inspired by the writings of Shakespeare and the renowned Bengali Nobel prize winner and poet, Rabindranath Tagore.

I feel a deep affinity with nature when I am in the tree writing poetry in the moonlight or looking at the sun rising or setting
Salim Hossen Gaus

"The isolation is very pleasing. I don't get any disturbance from people and no-one can distract me from my literary works," he said.

Mr Gaus, from south-western Jessore district, said he enjoyed the tranquillity of his tree house so much he had even taken to eating meals and sleeping there sometimes.

Screaming children

In doing so, he has had to face complaints from his family who accused him of "opting out" of everyday life.

But he says that now many people see that there is a method in his madness, and that tree houses offer an ideal way of escaping the hurly-burly of everyday life, free from demanding bosses, traffic jams, screaming children and pollution.

"I feel a deep affinity with nature when I am in the tree writing poetry in the moonlight or looking at the sun rising or setting," he said.

The idea has proved so popular that other villagers - who first dismissed him as insane - are now clamouring for their own tree-top hideaways.

"They used to call me mad but many people have become enthusiasts. Now they ask me to build the same kind of tree house for them too," he said.

With a population of 144 million people, Bangladesh has 834 people per square kilometre, according to a 2001 census of the country, making it one of the most crowded in the world.

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01 Nov 06 |  Country profiles

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