Singer AR Rahman was not filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s first choice when it came to making the music of Rang De Basanti. Rakeysh recently revealed that he almost finalized musician Peter Gabriel for the music of the said film, but at the eleventh hour, Rakeysh changed his decision and chose AR Rahman instead.
Rakeysh, in his autobiography The Stranger in the Mirror, wrote about his association with AR Rahman. He wrote that in his heart, he always knew Rahman is the right person to do the music for Rang De Basanti. He further wrote down in appreciation of the musician:
"One of the greatest joys of my life has been to be inside the recording studio when AR is creating a song of mine, not because I feel the need to guide but because I enjoy seeing his creative genius at work."
"AR understands something very fundamental: there's only one truth when you're making a film - that you're making that one film. Music, editing, cinematography, art direction, wardrobe, lyrics, actors etc. all have to tell that same story. They all have to serve the film and the director's job is to remind each artist of the one vision that everyone is working towards," Rakeysh also wrote in his book.
AR Rahman also got the honor to write the foreword for Rakeysh’s book, in which he shared his deep respect for the filmmaker and how he had to work hard to impress him.