A gathering of 20 friends who are regular passengers of the KURTC Volvo bus from Fort Kochi to Sivagiri celebrated Christmas and welcomed New Year in a novel way on Thursday.

The bus, which was the platform that united them, turned out to be the venue of their celebration. The group, named ‘Volvo Group’, comprises women and men passengers who travel from Fort Kochi to nearby places every day on the same bus. The bus starts from Fort Kochi around 8 am.

“There are nearly 25 passengers who travel every day in the same bus. The bonding between us grew day after day and now we are like a family. This unity prompted us to think of celebrating major festivals in the bus itself,” said N K Babu, one of the members of the Volvo Group.

Gopi Shankar, assistant motor vehicle inspector, Fort Kochi and Asianet assistant vice-president Diana Silvester were also present on the occasion “This is a novel experience to have a Christmas celebration in a public transport bus. Many people seem to prefer private vehicles nowadays but passengers using a bus for a friendly gathering seems interesting,” said Gopi Shankar.

The Volvo Group celebrates New Year on a KURTC bus on Thursday | aldrin jackins

Volvo Group members also decorated the bus with festoons. Inside the bus, a Christmas tree, stars and crib were also arranged. The passengers celebrated the joy of Christmas by cutting a cake and exchanging gifts between them.

“It was a new experience for me to celebrate the Christmas and New Year in such a manner. Incidents like these of course underline our belief of Kerala as a most visitor-friendly and unique destination,” said Tom Johns, a foreigner travelling in the bus.

The Volvo Group seems to be different among others in so many ways. All the passengers and their family members maintain a good bond between them. They also organise one-day tours on special occasions to maintain the harmony and happiness among them. As a group, they are planning to welcome New Year by extending their unity to other areas like charity too.