The 88-year-old actor was in the capital to receive the Lifetime Achievement honour at the NDTV Indian of the Year award ceremony Tuesday.
"This award in a flash takes me back to the year 1945 when I got my first break in a movie as a leading man. I was keen and passionate about my work…this was more than a six-and-a-half decades ago. How long…generation after generation after generation…I have seen it all since then and I am still seeing it," said Dev.
"The adulation, the love and admiration of the people, also the prejudices and criticism of me and my work by different people, and I have always taken it in my stride, gracefully, alone and aloof," he added.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, a Dev Anand fan herself, presented the award to the veteran.
The actor-filmmaker has been in the industry for more than six decades. Though he began his career as an actor and featured in hits like "Guide", "Baazi" and "Jewel Thief", he later ventured into direction and gave some cult hits like "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" and "Des Pardes".
However, his recent directorial ventures like "Love at Times Square" and "Censor" have brought him more brickbats than accolades. But nothing dampens Dev Anand’s spirit.
"I understand that not every person will like you and not everyone is going to dislike you as long as you know your job. So, I can only say that this award is for all those who have inspired me over the years, over six decades…the people of this country. So I dedicate this award, in my conscious and sub-conscious mind, to all the people of the country," he said.
During the event, when asked to recite his favourite dialogues from his films, Dev Anand had just one thing to say: "I don’t think I remember anything, whatever I say goes to the world and then the world remembers it and I proceed further," he remarked in his inimitable style.