Though she was shy, he recounted, she let him in, and they spent the night together. I was really happy that it all paid off after I’d gone through so much trouble to get there,” Dorji said.He and the girl fell in love, he added, and remained in a steady relationship for the next two years.They then enter into a different world of adulthood, bear more responsibility, and enjoy higher social standing and status.” But the practice has increasingly acquired a negative reputation.Among the problems associated with it, notes Penjore, are the exploitation of rural people by urban, the exploitation of women by men, the increased tendency toward promiscuity, the spread of venereal diseases, and the increase in the number of illegitimate children, teenage pregnancies and single mothers.
On one such night in September last year, I met Karma Dorji (name changed on request) and his friend in one such café, to talk about their past lovers over drinks.
In the modern context, bomena has come to be known by the ominous term ‘night hunting’.
Tashi Dema, a Bhutanese journalist who won a national award for a story about the subject, told me she is opposed to the practice, pointing out that in many cases, bomena turns to rape.
It was a warm autumn evening, and though Dorji was reticent at first, as the chatter that surrounded us swelled, he let down his guard a little.
Nursing his third whisky, he grew nostalgic as he recounted his first time with a woman.
I assumed that she would be asleep on the first floor—that’s normally where the girls sleep.