Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “collect.” Use the word “collect” any way you’d like. Have fun!
We live in a small university town. My husband studied here and after post-graduation continued working in the Dental college of our University. He retired in 2017. We got married in 1982. Our village is in the next state and is about 115 kms from here. My husband lived his childhood there. My brother-in-law lives there. My father-in-law was 95 when he passed away last year. Apart from the few years when he was away for his studies, he lived all his life there.
We went regularly to be with him. About fifty years ago direct roads were made to connect our town to the next and from there to other towns and cities in the next state. They were highways. In the eighties we had to change buses four times to reach our destination. In those days there were no toll booths. I do not know why they were not there. But I remember Aravind telling me his friend could not believe there were no toll booths on the highways to collect toll.
About fifteen years ago the highway was improved and we saw the construction of toll booths in different places. Toll was collected at three places on our way to our village. We felt it was a little too much. Many people protested but nothing came of it. A few years ago, ‘FASTag’ was introduced. It is an electronic toll collection system. We do not have to pay in cash. We can pass through the toll booths faster but the amount we pay is the same.
We were going regularly to our village and last year everything changed. I don’t think any of us will forget 2020. This year in March we went there after so many months. It felt strange to be going on the familiar road. Everything looked the same but so much had changed. The toll booths were there but they would not have collected much as vehicles were not going about as they had been earlier. We have not gone that side since March. May is coming to an end and life goes on.