IBoth Sachin Tendulkar and Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao (CNR) are appreciated by a very large number of people if one normalizes by the intellectuality of their profession. It is another matter that the cricket of Tendulkar earned considerable amount of money for companies he advertised for and that catered to upwardly mobile IT crowd. It is also another matter that science in India is exclusive (elite, select, restricted, limited, private, fashionable, special) and rarely inclusive (comprehensive, wide-ranging, all encompassing, complete, broad, general). Both Sachin and CNR were after accumulation of records/honours amassing runs/publications at rates that are way beyond that of even extra-ordinary mortals.
The question we may have to leave for the future is the real impact that they had on the aam aadmi.Tendulkar has stopped piling runs for official records. He has reached the top and he's gotta stop and that's not bothering him. CNR, by his own accord I suspect, has not reached the top he wanted --- the Nobel. That's why he will not stop. All the best to him.
What makes them the Ratnas they are? I could not know. My aspirations have stopped at the level of sackcloth and ashes of a garib Brahmoner chele (the son of a poor Brahmin). Accordingly I am one of those who only stand and applaud.
At a first level, when one looks for the first things. I have sometimes wondered whether the aspirations of Sachin Tendulkar and Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, match their first names.
There is a genuine-ness in CNR that cannot be denied! Part of this sunshine is due to the personality of his wife (extreme right in the Norman Rockwellin picture below, where every face tells its story), who really nurtured him to provide a warm security that only a full understanding can provide. I must honestly say that despite forty years having passed, the youthful glow has not diminished! As somebody said "Age cannot wither ... nor custom stale..." this glow. If there is any change it may be in the number of pens he uses. He had four different-colored pens for editing manuscripts then. There is only one now in his pocket in this computer age.