But at night

In daylight, though, you could imagine the land being made ordinary, fit for men like yourself, as small parts of it had been made ordinary for a short while before independence -- the very parts that were now in ruins.

But at night, if you were on the river, it was another thing. You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there. You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always. VS Naipaul, A Bend in the River. 1979.